What to Do if You Can’t Afford Therapy — Talkspace

Potential Options to Consider

If you’re worried you can’t afford therapy, there are many lower-cost options to consider. Therapy is integral to learning how to cope with anxiety, depression, addiction, or any other mental health conditions. If you’ve ever thoughtI can’t afford therapy,” consider the following options.

Check your insurance coverage

If you have health insurance, check your coverage. Your insurance plan should have a list of in-network behavioral health providers. In-network providers are usually less expensive than out-of-network. Health insurance providers should offer coverage for some or all of the following:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Support groups

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) that went into legislation in 2010 and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008 both work to ensure that insurance plans offer coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services. You definitely want to ask your insurance provider what mental health benefits you have through your plan. Additionally, see if you can use your HSA for therapy.

If you decide to see an out-of-network provider, you’ll be responsible for paying your therapist’s fees upfront. However, you might be able to submit an out-of-network claim to your insurance for at least partial reimbursement. Ask your therapist for a copy of your Superbill, which will include pertinent data such as contact information, diagnostic codes, and dates of service.

Most insurance companies have a process for submitting out-of-network claims online. If yours doesn’t, you might have to print out a form from your insurance company’s website and mail it along with the Superbill.

*Submitting a Superbill is simple when you use Talkspace online therapy. Find out more about how to access and submit a Superbill today.

Group therapy

Some mental health providers offer group therapy, which tends to be a more affordable option because you can share the cost with other patients. At first, joining a group of strangers to talk about mental health might seem scary, but group therapy has advantages that solo treatment does not. Group therapy helps you develop a support group guided by a mental health professional.

Many support groups are tailored to a specific issue, such as addiction, social anxiety, depression, substance abuse, or health. Other groups focus on strengthening social skills in general, assisting people with various concerns such as aggression, shyness, loneliness, and low self-esteem.

Sliding scale fee

It’s not uncommon for therapists to offer a sliding scale system for fees. This means they charge you based on your income or ability to pay. Sliding scales can benefit those in a lower income bracket or who don’t have insurance and will be self-paying. Regardless of your situation, don’t hesitate to ask your behavioral health provider if they offer a sliding scale system for their fees. It can be a great way to figure out how to afford therapy and get the help you need.

“There are several options to consider when you can’t afford therapy. Asking a therapist for a sliding scale or pro bono services, applying for services at a local community center, checking if your employer offers an employee assistance program, and checking online services are some of the options.”

Talkspace therapist Cynthia Catchings, LCSW

Health clinics at colleges

If you’re a college student, you likely have a fantastic resource right on campus. While it may not be free, it’s probably more affordable than seeing a therapist in the community. In addition, college mental health providers also understand the challenges and pressures young students face.

Online therapy

Most companies that offer online therapy, like Talkspace, are much more affordable per session than traditional in-person sessions. They usually require you to pay a monthly subscription fee, but that typically includes a weekly therapy session as well as in-app messaging with your provider.

“Thanks to technology, online therapy is more affordable and sometimes even free. You can search online or ask a therapist about resources or referrals to find online services.”

Talkspace therapist Cynthia Catchings, LCSW

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