The current array of insurance procedures can be confusing. At RHEMA, we will help you consider this information as we work together toward a plan that fits your needs. The first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier.
Rhema Counseling Associates Insurance Procedures
Insurance Procedures – Some Facts to Consider
– You will have to meet your deductible first. Biblical Counseling is usually of short duration.
– Insurance companies require a mental health diagnosis before paying for mental health counseling. Some of our clients prefer no diagnosis be made.
Insurance Procedures – Our Responsibility
RHEMA Counseling Associates requires you to pay up-front for all counseling service. We will provide an insurance-ready invoice to the client at each session. If you have a major medical policy that covers outpatient mental health and you wish to use this policy, please note the following: your counselor is not responsible for confidentiality procedures employed by other parties, e.g., insurance companies, managed care companies, etc. Due to the fact that other parties often create computerized records, your counselor is unable to guarantee the confidentiality of your records should you use your insurance company to subsidize the cost of therapy services. If your choice is to use insurance, you are responsible for completing and filing insurance claims using the RHEMA Counseling Associates’ invoice. If insurance is used, a Release of Information form will have to be signed authorizing your counselor to release necessary diagnostic, clinical and treatment information to your insurance company.
Insurance Procedures – Your Responsibility
There is a confusing array of insurance arrangements. The first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
– Do I have Mental Health benefits? Do you cover out-of-network Mental Health Counseling?
– What is my deductible for Mental Health Counseling? How much of my deductible has been met so far this year?
– How much will my insurance company cover for an out-of-network provider and for how many sessions per calendar year?
– Is there a limitation on how much you will pay per session?
– Is primary care physician approval required?
At RHEMA, we will help you consider this information as we work together toward a payment plan that fits your needs.
Insurance Procedures – Loss of Confidentiality
Due to recent changes in Healthcare legislation, many of our clients have expressed concern about risks to their privacy and confidentiality if insurance benefits are used for their counseling. With increased governmental access to insurance information, their concerns may be justified.
Whenever a client elects to use their insurance benefits to cover all or a portion of their counseling sessions, the therapist is OBLIGATED to report and release many of the details of the client’s identity and personal issues to the insurance company. This includes: diagnosis, what may be causing the issues, how well the client is functioning, any impact on work performance, and specific details about treatment, including the use of medication, if any. Most insurance forms require this kind of information, especially when cases are reviewed by the insuring company or agency.
Although using insurance may seem more cost effective, some clients choose not to use it due to the release of sensitive, personal information and the risk of a loss of confidentiality. With the recent passage of the Affordable Care Act, it is even more likely that client information could be open to and accessed by multiple agencies. In our opinion, the risk to client confidentiality is now even more serious when information is released to insurance carriers.
There is a way to avoid this potential risk. By keeping client information ONLY in our office, we can protect and safeguard personal and clinical information from being released to anyone or any outside agency. Under the HIPAA laws and regulations, we are able to always ensure the client’s privacy, even from attorneys, courts, employers or governmental agencies.
Once we release personal or clinical information to outside insurance companies and governmental agencies, it’s out of our control. But fortunately, the decision to use–or not use–insurance benefits rests firmly in the hands of each of our clients.
With the significant changes in healthcare legislation, we believe it is our responsibility and commitment to ethical integrity to make our clients aware of this increased risk.
With this in mind, if any client wishes to utilize Healthcare insurance, we will be happy to verify coverage and assist in submitting insurance claim forms with the client’s authorization.
Feel free to discuss these issues further with our office.