Tips for Choosing a Psychotherapist:
The Impact of Insurance/Managed Health Care on Psychotherapy

Nowadays, health care insurance cost containment priorities demand that psychotherapy be inexpensive, brief, symptom relieving and cost effective. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO's) and managed health care organizations that regulate and limit the practice of health care in a competitive market may regulate the quality and type of mental health care treatment available to you. Many health insurance companies that provide mental health benefits, contract with a behavioral health provider group that may also serve as a managed health care organization to allocate, monitor and regulate mental health care treatment and consequently limit your therapy insurance benefits.

What this means is that you may not have insurance coverage that was seemingly available to you in your health benefits plan. It is important to understand that while you may be going to a competent therapist, your insurance company (as regulated through the contracted managed behavioral health care provider group) may deny coverage for the style or length of treatment that you or your therapist feel is warranted.

Consequently, you may be forced to make a decision about whether you are willing to continue ongoing treatment, if your insurance benefits are discontinued. In some instances, you may discover that you have only slightly less benefits by choosing to see a provider outside your plan's provider network. Be sure to ask your therapist how they would handle the therapy fees, should you find that your treatment is not now or may no longer be covered by your insurance plan.