9550 Warner Ave, Ste. 250-08, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Phone: (714) 403-4166

Should I Use Insurance for My Therapy?

There are many factors to consider when deciding to use your insurance for therapy or whether to pay privately. Some considerations are:

1. Insurance companies require that everyone in therapy be given a diagnosis of a mental health disorder in order to pay for therapy. Your diagnosis is seen by many people at the insurance company and can be shared with other insurance companies (life/disability/future health insurance companies) and the government; some employers can even request you release the information to them. Some diagnoses can greatly increase your fees for insurance. Also, some insurance companies will require you get a medication evaluation even if you do not want to take medication or there is no real need for you to take any. 

2. Insurance companies will limit what your therapist can do to help you. Insurance companies can tell your therapist how many sessions are appropriate for a given diagnosis, and some even limit which therapy method is approved. 

3. Patients who choose to pay for therapy out of pocket tend to have more emotional buy-in and commitment to therapy. Paying with our own money tends to make us work harder and better appreciate the services we are paying for.  

4. Not using insurance for therapy allows therapists to be flexible with their fees. Therapists can give discounts to cash paying clients people in brief times of need to help people continue in therapy until they are in a better financial position. Insurance does not allow that flexibility.

Therapy is truly an investment. The relatively small amount of money spent is far outweighed by all of the life benefits. By not using your insurance, you ensure not only confidentiality, but a range of benefits for yourself or a loved one. Plus, therapy is very affordable and WAY cheaper than divorce! 

Insurance has a very important role in our well-being but be very careful about using it for mental health therapy. Once your information is sent to your insurance company it is on file and is nearly impossible to have it removed.

​​​Dr. ​Jacquelyn M. Harlan

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist