As you may have discovered, using insurance can often be very complicated. This is unfortunate. In order to make it as simple as possible though, I will try to provide you with some useful information. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Insurance companies and policies can vary greatly. For now, we will just concentrate on mental health benefits.
We all spend a great deal of money on our medical insurance and want to use it and gain the financial benefits of using it whenever possible. When it comes to using your insurance for mental health services, in order for me; the provider to be paid, the insurance companies REQUIRE that give you or your child a mental health diagnosis. That is, they require that you are diagnosed with some sort of a mental disorder and the disorder is reported to them. The diagnosis must have a name which can be found in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
The major downside of using your medical insurance, even if you have a psychiatric diagnosis is that these labels often cause you to be rated “high risk” for life or health insurance in the future. Having a mental illness documented in your insurance records can, and often does cause people to be denied life insurance coverage and quite possibly education and employment opportunities. Unfortunately this diagnosis will remain in your medical records for the rest of your life.
Individual or family counseling
Although there are exceptions, most insurance companies will not pay for family therapy. In order for families to be seen together, most insurance companies require, officially, that at least one person to be diagnosed with a mental disorder. Relationship difficulties may be the primary focus of treatment, but officially, the treatment is to be in service of the person with the diagnosis. This is due to the fact that, at present, most all diagnoses are given to individuals.
The good news is that if you choose to pay for the therapy out of pocket, your information will remain confidential, nothing will be reported to the insurance companies and you will not have to be concerned about the lifelong ramifications of having a mental illness documented in your medical records.