26 October 2016

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An Insurance Coverage Reminder

Psychotherapy is unfortunately under-insured by most company health plans, and those that cover therapy sadly are out of date with respect to recognizing who is qualified to act as a therapist and receive coverage. I cannot make this point more bluntly. While there is hope that the newly formed College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario will press for wider coverage in the future, this is unlikely to change soon.

One of the reasons I’m writing this is because sometimes there are assumptions made by new clients about their insurance. In order to avoid confusion, here are some tips:

1) Check the wording of your health insurance policy before making an appointment — this includes the initial consultation.

2) Health plans that cover psychotherapy will often cover the services of a Psychologist or a Social Worker. I am not a Psychologist. I am not a Social Worker. I don’t understand what magic powers Psychologists and Social Workers have with respect to offering therapy, but insurance companies seem to feel that Psychotherapists don’t have them. This is very unfortunate (not to mention outdated), but until such time as RPs such as myself are covered, there’s nothing I can do.

3) My policy with respect to sessions cancelled with less than 24 hours notice stands, regardless of whether you discover too late that you are not covered: you will be charged the full rate of the cancelled session.

Financial transactions can bring up discomfort for some clients, however because practitioners are required to cover their expenses (overhead, office space, college fees, etc.) it’s only fair that clients interested in applying their company’s health benefits plan do their own due diligence.

I hope this makes sense – I would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.