Some things you may be wondering about before starting therapy… Here are some frequently asked questions.
I’m new to therapy. What does starting therapy look like?
Therapy starts wherever you’re at. In your first session, Becky will review your intake form, ask some questions to get to know you, and see how therapy can best serve you. Together, we discover and prioritize your goals for therapy. Throughout our work together, Becky may check in to see the progress made so far and if any adjustments are necessary. Ultimately, therapy is your time and it’s important that you are able to benefit from it.
Are sessions confidential?
Absolutely! All session content is confidential, meaning your therapist won’t share anything from appointments with others without your permission, and even with your permission, there are limits to what is and is not appropriate or ethical to share. That said, therapists by nature of the profession and license are mandated reporters, which means there are a few exceptions to confidentiality:
- court order (i.e. a subpoena)
- safety-related (concern of harm to yourself or others, abuse of a child, dependent adult, or elder)
Are all sessions in-person?
When you receive services from Becky, your sessions can be one of or all of the following: in-person and in the office, in-person and outdoors, online using a secure HIPAA compliant platform (Zoom), or by phone.
Teletherapy is not appropriate for everyone. You may have the equipment: a phone, tablet, or computer; a confidential space; and stable internet access, but if you tend to multitask or are easily distracted by competing apps or notifications, it may not be right for you.
Outdoor sessions are not appropriate for everyone. Some outdoor spaces are ADA accessible, some are not. You may not have the fitness for some of the locations (hikes versus walks), you may prefer fair weather only, or you may not have the attire/equipment for certain terrains or weather. In general, I have found that most of my clients prefer the outdoors and have the proper attire for any occasional inclement weather that would not hinder the ease of a session.
Do you accept insurance?
Simple answer: No.
I am considered an “out of network” provider and can provide a monthly superbill* for services. Since I am a one-woman, part-time business, I do not bill your insurance or get involved beyond providing the superbill/receipt. Many insurance plans provide coverage for out-of-network mental health services via reimbursement of your fully paid service rendered. Please contact your insurance company to see what deductible or percentage of reimbursement is allowed for an out-of-network LMHC in Washington state.
Questions to ask your insurance:
a. Do I have out-of-network benefits for my policy?
b. Do I have a mental or behavioral health policy that covers out-of-network benefits?
c. How do I use my out-of-network benefits?
d. Do I need a prior authorization before I begin seeing my provider?
e. Do I have an out-of-network deductible? If so, what is it and how do I meet the deductible?
f. I have been unable to find another provider with availability in-network, how do I obtain authorization to get my out-of-network provider covered under my mental or behavioral health benefits?
*What’s a superbill? What do I do with it?
A superbill is an invoice – a receipt for services rendered and paid for in full – that your therapist provides you (upon request) when they are not in network with your insurance panel. This invoice/receipt has information such as dates of service, a diagnosis code, and other personal information such as your date of birth and address.
Once you have a superbill and have clarified your insurance coverage, you can submit this to your insurance for reimbursement. The time frame and percentage of reimbursement depends on several things, including your policy and coverage.
How much will it cost to receive services?
The cost of services depends on a number of factors including your provider’s session cost, frequency of services, and duration of treatment. You can receive an estimate of service costs as described below.
As of January 1, 2022, under Section 2799B-6 of the Public Health Service Act, health care providers and health care facilities are required to inform individuals who are not enrolled in a plan or coverage or a Federal health care program, or not seeking to file a claim with their plan or coverage both orally and in writing of their ability, upon request or at the time of scheduling health care items and services, to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” of expected charges.
You have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your medical care will cost.
Under this new law*, health care providers need to give patients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the bill for medical items and services.
- You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any non-emergency items or services. This includes related costs like medical tests, prescription drugs, equipment, and hospital fees.
- Make sure your health care provider gives you a Good Faith Estimate in writing at least 1 business day before your medical service or item. You can also ask your health care provider, and any other provider you choose, for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule an item or service.
- If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill.
- Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate. For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises.
*This is a newly introduced law and is subject to change. This page will be updated as needed in compliance with any changes.