Therapy & Counseling Services – Payment & Information
Whether engaged in more traditional psychotherapy or coaching, sessions are conducted on the phone or through our secure web-based HIPAA compliant video call platform – JANE. In person sessions meet with clients in person in our downtown Chicago office.
Therapy & Coaching appointments generally are 55-60 minutes (a clinical hour) in length. At times extended or intensive sessions can be arranged.
Fee-for-service payment is always an option. In a fee-for-service arrangement, we can base treatment on the needs of the client without the approval of insurance representatives. In addition, no information is shared with outside organizations, removing confidentiality concerns.
Fee-for-service arrangements are the only way we can assure confidentiality and ensure that treatment is not impacted by the cost-cutting efforts of the insurance companies. Our standard fees range from is $135.00 to $195.00 per clinical hour. Feel free to discuss any financial concerns you may have with your therapist prior to your first session.
Timely payment is expected. Payment can be made to the therapist at the time of service or by our office via supplied credit card authorization. We accept payment via cash, check, or credit card.
Please note that psychotherapy services are generally eligible expenses for reimbursement from medical flex-spending accounts. Additionally, the cost for our services may be able to be written off as a medical expense tax deduction, see your tax professional for more information.
Important Note: Initially in response to the coronavirus pandemic and to support social distancing efforts to flatten the curve, insurance companies started covering teletherapy as it does regular in-person psychotherapy. In 2021, the State of Illinois passes legislation to make this permanent.
Additionally, all insurance claims – whether in-network or out-of-network – require that claims reflect the client name on record with the insurance company.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield PPO & Blue Choice Plans: All PeoplePsych therapists are “in-network” for most commercial Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) PPO and Blue Choice plans. We will verify your benefits upon receipt of completed intake paperwork/authorization. Note that we are not innetwork for BCBS Advocate plans.
United Healthcare/Optum PPO Plans: Most PeoplePsych therapists are “in-network” for United Healthcare and/or Optum plans.
Aetna PPO (non-HMO) Plans: PeoplePsych is in the process of bringing all therapists in-network with Aetna PPO plans. For those covered by Aetna, we will attempt to determine status of coverage prior to the initial session. Regardless of our in/out network status, we will submit claims for sessions.
Other PPO Plans: If your coverage is through another PPO (such as Cigna, Humana), your insurance likely covers out-of-network providers to a degree. Although this coverage may be at a lower rate, we will attempt to access those benefits to partially cover our psychotherapy services making our therapy sessions more affordable than a fee-for-service arrangement.
For most clients who wish to access their insurance benefits we will bill your insurance directly and submit the claim to the insurance company. For those not covered through by one of our contracted insurance carriers (BCBS, United/Optum, Aetna) this submission is a courtesy and a retainer may be requested to offset the delay in insurance processing as full payment of therapy charges is still the responsibility of the client.
As a rule, clients using out-of-network insurance benefits are asked to pay upfront for services and claims are filed in a way where reimbursement is directed to be sent to the client by the insurance company.
HMO/Tricare/Community/Medicaid/Medicare Plans: PeoplePsych therapists do not attempt to access benefits/file claims through these plans, including those companies that we are otherwise in-network with. Those wishing to work with a PeoplePsych therapist will be charged our fee for service rate and given a monthly statement detailing the charges. If desired the statement may be submitted by the client to the insurance company in an effort to gain reimbursement.
It is important to note that all insurance companies require some degree of personal information to process a claim, and some require a great deal of clinical detail before authorizing sessions or payment, and this can change with little notice. In the event this occurs, we notify clients prior to providing additional personal or clinical information.
Services such as coaching, specialized workshops, divorce mediation, and conflict management services are not eligible for insurance reimbursement and are provided on a fee for service basis only.