Insurance Coverage

Like a degree or house, therapy is a long-term investment. And this usually comes with a decent price tag. After all, the minimum educational requirement for a psychotherapist is a master's degree so we can gain specialized training on how to deal with incredibly complex situations, people, and dynamics. And for someone like me who is very committed to my clients and passionate about my work, I am continually attending additional trainings, seminars, and conferences to enhance my skills, all of which add value to the work I do but also have their own price tag. 

Unfortunately, however, coverage for psychotherapy services is incredibly complicated. So, this post offers important information to help you be more informed. 

 

Unlike services provided by psychiatrists, psychotherapy services are not covered by OHIP. That said, more and more private insurance companies like SunLife, Scotia Life, Manulife, and others are covering psychotherapy. 

Ask your therapist about the credentials of their supervisor. If they are supervised by someone in a profession that is covered by your benefits plan, you may be able to gain coverage. For example, if your insurance plan covers social workers and your psychotherapist is supervised by one, you may be able to write off your sessions.

  • The type of coverage you have can vary. In some cases, you might only have coverage for a certain number of sessions; in others, your coverage might pay for part of each session fee. Be sure to ask your benefits provider about the specifics of your specific plan.

  • Psychotherapists do not do direct billing to insurance companies at the moment. As such, it is the client's responsibility to provide session receipts to their provider. Be sure to ask if Registered Psychotherapists are covered on your insurance plan BEFORE your first session so you are not caught off-guard and paying for a session you thought you had coverage for. 

  • When asking your benefits provider about coverage, be sure to tell them that you are seeing a Registered Psychotherapist. Registered Psychotherapists have different credentials and governing bodies than social workers, psychologists, counsellors, and more, so it is important to provide the correct, specific title to your provider.

 

Finding a therapist that you connect with is incredibly important. In fact, research has shown that the relationship one has with their therapist is the most important factor of change in therapy. So, what happens if you find a therapist you like with the right experience but don't have insurance coverage for psychotherapy? Here are your options: 

 

  1. You can send a pre-written letter to your employer requesting that they add psychotherapy coverage to your benefits plan. I consider this to be the most time-effective option. 

  2. Your psychotherapist can send this letter to your employer requesting that psychotherapists be added to their benefits plan, though this can take time and sound like a "bigger ask" from your employers' perspective. 

  3. Consider seeing your therapist on a less frequent basis. This can help mitigate costs but still allow you to work with a therapist with whom you have a good connection.

  4. Ask your therapist if they offer a sliding scale fee, or a reduced rate. Most therapists do not offer this or have limited spaces for this but there's no harm in asking.

The topic of insurance coverage is a complicated one when it comes to psychotherapy. Please feel free to pass this article along to friends and family members so they can be more informed about the process, too. 

kristina@fresh-insight.ca

Tel: (647) 300 - 9465

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