There are advantages and drawbacks both to using out-of-pocket private payment and to using insurance. Obvious, the biggest drawback of out-of-pocket private payment is that it is an immediate expense. However, there are several advantages of investing that make he expense worthwhile.
Confidentiality and Privacy
Clients who pay out of pocket are guaranteed that the only people who know any of the details of their therapy are themselves and their therapist. Aside from normal limits of confidentiality, therapy is completely confidential, without any third party being privy to the information exchanged in session.
Service Without Hindrances, Pressure or Stigma
Most insurance providers require a mental health diagnosis in order for therapy to be covered. This means that many issues such as marital problems, life stress, or personal growth are not covered by insurance anyway. When clients invest out-of-pocket, there is no requirement of mental health diagnosis for treatment, which means that anyone can seek treatment, counseling, coaching and healing. Private investment for yourself and family also carries the coping with some area of life. Finally, treatment without the necessity of a mental health diagnosis means that the stigma of some diagnoses can often be avoided.
Freedom in Treatment
Private investing clients have complete control of the duration and style of their treatment. Modalities that are ethically viable but not covered by insurance are open to private investment clients. You are able to choose the focus of your therapy, the duration of therapy, and the frequency of treatments, and even the length of individual sessions.
Research shows that clients who have to pay something for their treatment have more positive outcomes that those who receive free treatment. Not only do you get what you pay for, but the fact that you are investing out-of-pocket provides extra motivation and incentive to make the most of the therapy.
Potentially Reduced Service Costs
For some clients, their insurance providers require a co-pay and a large deductible to be met when seeking treatment, with the additional feature that standard rates for service apply. By not taking insurance, I am free to set my own rates and offer a sliding scale to my clients. This means that privately invested clients can actually pay less than those who pay with insurance, depending on where they fit in the sliding scale, how long treatment lasts, and the details of an individual’s insurance plan.