• Joanna Bloss

All About Health Insurance

Updated: Jan 4, 2019

You finally decided you need a counselor. You’ve done your research and found someone that seems like a good fit. The next step is to make an appointment and dive in, right?

Not exactly.

There’s one more step that is easy to skip, but if you take the time to do it now, I promise it will save some headaches down the road.

You’ve got to figure out how to pay for it.

Counseling isn’t free, and there are good reasons for this (read more about that here). But how will you pay for it? You typically have one of two options.

  1. Pay out of pocket (called self-pay).

  2. Use your health insurance benefits.

(If you’re not sure, read this post first to help you decide.)

If you decide to use your health insurance benefits, you will need to know two things.

  1. Does your policy offer mental health benefits? If so, what are they? (If you are doing teletherapy, you will need to check that your policy covers it as well.)

  2. Is the therapist you choose in network with your health insurance?

There are three ways to find out about your benefits.

  1. Consult the information you received when you enrolled in the plan. Benefits are usually listed in detail in this printed material. Often, you can also access this on your company’s HR site.

  2. Log in to your policy online. Go to your insurance company website and sign up for online access. You will need your member number/ID.

  3. Call the number on the back of your card.

As for benefits, these are the numbers you need to know:

Your deductible - this is the amount that you will need to pay out of pocket before your insurance benefits kick in. This number varies greatly among different types of insurance policies. Some people have 0 deductible, while others have a very high deductible. In January, this will be a very important number to you!

Your copay or co-insurance - this is the amount you will need to pay per visit. This is either a fixed amount, or a percentage of what is called the allowable (the maximum amount the insurance company will pay for a particular service).

To find out if your therapist is in network, the easiest way is to ask them (believe me, they will know.) Otherwise, you can call your insurance company or go to the website to find a list of providers in your area.

Generations Counseling Services is currently in network with Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield and CareSource (offered through the Marketplace). We do not accept any Medicaid or Medicare plans at this time. If you have an out of state Blue Cross/Blue Shield policy, it will still typically be covered in network. We ask that all clients leave a credit card on file to cover deductibles and copays, and payment is due at the time of service.

In order to use your insurance, please have your information (Member ID, Group number and date of birth) available when you call for your first appointment. We want to provide you with the most seamless care possible, and taking a few moments to make payment arrangements and verify your insurance benefits will make a big difference!

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