The Pros and Cons of Using an Insurance Benefit

Some health insurance plans have outpatient mental health benefits. The obvious reason to use these insurance benefits for therapy is to reduce costs for you or your dependent. There may be a deductible or co-pay, or sometimes you will be responsible for a percentage of the contracted rate that Centennial Counseling Center has established with your insurance company. Please note there may be restrictions as to the frequency and total number of sessions that can be used in a year and a lifetime.

Centennial files insurance claims on your behalf, and you are responsible for any unpaid balance that the insurance company does not pay. We do our best to insure that there are no surprises; but in spite of our best efforts, insurance companies occasionally do not handle things the way we expected.

One obvious concern about using that benefit is privacy. Many health benefits are administered through your company’s Personnel or Human Resource Department. Some clients might be concerned about how their companies handle personal information, especially regarding mental health.

Also, many might be concerned about how insurance information is used by insurance companies or employers. To process claims under a PPO or regular Indemnity program, the insurance company generally requires a diagnosis, dates of service, the provider’s (therapist’s) name and address and other details. Managed Care programs require even more information and usually ask for a treatment summary including some details from therapy in order to determine the insurance company’s view of medical necessity. They may deny payment if they determine that treatment has required more sessions than they believe appropriate.

Another area of concern for some people is the paper trail when it comes to filling out applications for life, health, or disability insurance. They might be uncomfortable for an insurance company to have a record of their treatment.

We cannot advise you regarding your decision to use or not use your insurance benefit. We provide this information as a way for you to be informed of what might be involved in that decision. If you chose to use your insurance benefit, we will provide only what is required by an insurance company to meet the terms of your policy. Unfortunately, we can make no assurances regarding what happens to that information once it leaves our office.


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