If you’re going through a large life transition or have any mental health concerns, such as anxiety or depression symptoms, you should see a psychiatrist. But how much does it cost to see a psychiatrist without health insurance?
Psychiatrists can assist you in learning how to successfully manage mental health issues, without health insurance, a visit with a psychiatrist can cost anywhere from $75 to $200 per hour.
Many psychiatrists charge on a sliding scale basis, which means the price you pay varies depending on your financial situation.
This article will give you full breakdown of what it will cost you to see a psychiatrist when you don’t have insurance and other alternatives to take in such situation.
While their services may be costly, it’s likely that your health insurance will cover part, if not all, of the charges.
READ ALSO: Best Affordable Health Insurance In Kentucky
What Does It Cost to See a Psychiatrist Without Insurance?
Even though the Affordable Care Act mandates that health insurers include mental health care, coverage might be limited.
If you don’t have insurance or if your insurance doesn’t cover psychiatry visits, you could end up paying $500 or more for a full consultation, which may be required to acquire a diagnosis.
The cost of your sessions will vary depending on your location, the psychiatrist’s qualifications and years of experience, as well as the length and frequency of your sessions.
There may be a fee difference between in-person and telemedicine consultations as well.
Always check how much it costs to see a psychiatrist and what you should think about before making your first appointment.
You Should Also Check Out: How To Get Cheap Medical Insurance in 2022
Will my Psychiatrist Visit be Covered by Insurance?
The cost of a visit with your psychiatrist is not usually covered by insurance. The majority of the time, insurance plans will cover some amount of the visit, but not always the entire appointment.
Check your insurance account online first to see if your insurance covers the cost of seeing a psychiatrist, and then call your insurance provider and possible psychiatrists to see if they accept your plan.
Psychiatric emergency services, outpatient therapies, addiction treatment, and co-occurring medical disorders are typically the only treatments covered by insurers.
How Can I Save Money on a Psychiatrist Visit?
Visiting a psychiatrist on a regular basis might be costly. There are, however, ways to reduce the total cost of your appointment with your psychiatrist.
Among these strategies are:
Examine Your Insurance Policy:
Preferred provider organization (PPO) plans often cover a percentage of your visit, however this varies by plan.
The majority of the time, a PPO will pay for anywhere from 30% to 100% of your visit.
Create A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Or A Health Savings Account (HSA):
You can use your pre-tax money to pay for your therapy sessions using an HSA/FSA.
Setting up an HSA or FSA might save you anywhere from 10% to 40% on your visit.
Meet With A Psychiatrist In Training:
An appointment with a psychiatrist in training can be more economical.
They could be at universities, and despite the fact that they are in training, they will be overseen and given the tools they need to help you.
If I Can’t Afford a Psychiatrist, What Should I Do?
If the cost of psychiatric services exceeds your budget, you may still be able to get low-priced mental health care.
Also, if you need to see a psychiatrist, here are some options for finding free or low-cost alternatives:
1. Providers Who Charge On A Sliding Scale:
Some psychiatrists in private practice will charge on a sliding scale based on your financial ability to pay.
In addition, several hospitals and clinics provide discounts or financial aid to uninsured patients.
2. Hospitals And Psychiatric Centers For Mental Illness:
The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) publishes an annual directory of mental health treatment institutions arranged by state and territory.
This list can assist you in locating services and payment choices in your area. Some public psychiatric clinics, also referred to as community mental health centers or community behavioral health centers, provide free, low-cost, or reduced services.
You can also find facilities near you by using SAMHSA’s mental health treatment services locator.
3. Safety-Net Hospital
Psychiatrists will be on duty in most of these comprehensive health centers, also known as county hospitals, public hospitals, or important hospitals.
All persons, including those without health insurance, are welcome to use these facilities.
You can find a safety-net hospital in your area by looking up a safety-net hospital, county hospital, public hospital, or essential hospital in your area on this state-by-state list or by searching online for a safety-net hospital, county hospital, public hospital, or essential hospital in your area.
4. Academic Psychiatric Institutions:
Psychiatrists train medical students in these teaching hospitals, which generally provide free, low-cost, or reduced care.
5. Federally Qualified Health Centers (Fqhcs):
These community health centers, also known as FQHCs, are supported by the federal government to offer medical care in underserved communities, and psychiatrists are occasionally on staff.
Patients are charged based on their financial ability to pay. To locate a health center near you, use the Find a Health Center search tool.
6. Free And Benevolent Clinics:
These healthcare centers are intended for “medically underserved” persons, such as those without insurance, and psychiatrists are sometimes present.
Typically, there is no price for service, and medication is offered free of charge if there is a pharmacy.
With its Find A Clinic feature, the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics offers over 1,400 facilities that may be searched by ZIP code, city, or state.
The Cost of a Psychiatrist’s Consultation
Psychiatrists are medical professionals who specialize in mental health and complete four years of medical school and at least four years of residency. Patients can be diagnosed, treated, and prescribed by psychiatrists.
A psychiatrist will consider both the psychological and physical components of a person’s mental health while assessing their condition.
They may do a mental status assessment (MSE), a psychosis test, an electroencephalogram (EEG), or a blood test to assess an individual.
A psychiatrist is not the same thing as a psychiatrist. If you want to talk to a mental health professional about your career, personal life, relationships, or behavioral concerns, you should first consult a psychiatrist, who is likely to be less expensive than a psychiatrist.
A psychiatrist visit is recommended if you want to better understand your mental health issues or pursue complete therapy.
You’ll have to pay per hour or session if you want to make follow-up appointments after the initial consultation. Psychiatrists earn an average of $104.38 per hour, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you don’t have insurance, a regular visit to the psychiatrist could cost you up to $200 or more. Because of their significant training and backgrounds, psychiatrists typically have higher rates than psychiatrists or other therapists.
The following elements will have a substantial impact on costs:
- The service provider
- The doctor’s education and years of experience
- The practice’s location.
- The duration of a session.
- The doctor’s area of expertise
- Whether the consultation is held in person or online
Mental health treatment, whether covered by insurance or not, can be costly, and you may find yourself owing more than you anticipated. If you’re thinking about seeing a psychiatrist, bear the following costs in mind:
Costs of Referral
Referrals from primary care physicians are required by some psychiatrists. If this is the case, you may need to make an appointment with your PCP first, which may incur an additional expense.
You can book a consultation right away if you don’t need a referral.
Costs of Treatment
There may be costs involved with receiving a prescription for medication or certain other treatments.
While some of these procedures and treatments are covered by health insurance, many are not, so you may end up paying substantial out-of-pocket costs even if you have coverage.
Costs of a Psychiatrist with Insurance
If you have health insurance, your initial psychiatrist consultation should be covered, though not all health plans cover psychiatrist visits.
Check your health plan before making an appointment to discover what’s covered, who might be covered, and how many visits you have covered before you have to pay yourself.
Here are some things to bear in mind:
- You may not receive as much (or any) coverage from your health insurance company if you visit an out-of-network provider. Look for in-network providers for the most cost-effective alternative.
- If your deductible is high, such as $5,000, you will most likely be responsible for the entire cost of your psychiatrist visit unless you’ve previously met your deductible.
- If you have a co-payment, you must pay it at the time of your appointment. A psychiatrist’s fee will normally be greater because they are considered a specialty practitioner.
Certain behavioral health services and treatments, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), are increasingly being reimbursed by insurance insurers, but they may require a specific diagnosis or prior authorization before being covered.
To find out what’s covered and what isn’t, contact your health insurance carrier.
Psychiatric Care Alternative Payment Options
It is critical that you prioritize your mental health. If you’re having serious mental health symptoms, you should contact a psychiatrist to figure out what’s causing them and how to treat them effectively.
Alternative payment methods should be considered if you do not have insurance or cannot afford out-of-pocket payments.
Sliding-scale payment plans are available at many mental health facilities, but they aren’t usually adequate to cover the cost of services. If you require financial aid for psychiatric treatment, explore the following options:
- If you’re eligible, enrolling in a state-sponsored health plan, such as Medicaid.
- Using funds from a health savings account (HSA) or a flexible spending account (FSA), which allow you to use pre-tax monies.
- Checking with your employer to see if an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to you (EAP).
- Getting a personal loan or utilizing a credit card are two options.
- Visiting government-funded health facilities or clinics for low-cost or no-cost mental or behavioral health services.
- Locating a local non-profit that provides more inexpensive solutions
- Using an online platform like Talkspace or BetterHelp to consult with a psychiatrist.
If your mental health problem prevents you from working or retaining a job, you should apply for disability benefits.
How to Reduce the Cost of Psychiatric Treatment
Seeing a psychiatrist can be costly, particularly if you don’t have health insurance.
There are, however, a number of things you may do to make psychiatric therapy more cheap.
Online Psychiatric Assistance
Participating in therapy online rather than in person is one of the simplest and most efficient ways to lower the expense of seeing a psychiatrist.
Online psychiatry entails communicating with a psychiatric practitioner over the internet. There is no need to commute, park, or wait because you can talk to your psychiatrist online.
Our online psychiatry service, for example, allows you to connect with a licensed clinician for a psychiatric examination, tailored treatment plan, and continuous medication management and follow-up care via video chat.
Make the Most of Your Insurance Protection
Don’t be frightened to use your health insurance provider’s mental evaluation and treatment coverage.
All plans sold via the Health Insurance Marketplace, as well as most individual and small business health insurance plans, are required by law to include mental health and substance use disorder services under the Affordable Care Act.
Many additional insurance plans cover mental health care, including psychiatric therapy, in full or in part.
If you have a certain psychiatrist in mind, verify if they are part of any insurance networks. If you see an in-network practitioner, your treatment may be completely covered or you may only have to pay a small copay.
You can drastically minimize the expense of seeing a psychiatrist, participating in treatment sessions, and obtaining ongoing care by staying in-network and using your insurance coverage.
Examine Your Company’s Employee Assistance Program
Employee assistance programs, or EAPs, at certain companies provide free or low-cost access to a mental health expert.
Employee assistance programs are designed to assist employees with personal issues that are interfering with their professional performance. Many clinics provide services over the phone or via video conferencing to make getting medical help easier and more convenient.
Contact your company’s human resources department to learn more about your employee assistance program.
Inquire About Pricing On A Sliding Scale
Some psychiatrists may provide sliding scale pricing, which adjusts the amount you pay for treatment based on your income. If your income is high, you will pay full price, however if your income is low, you may be eligible for a reduction.
If you have a limited budget, this type of pricing scheme can drastically minimize the cost of psychiatric therapy. Ask your current health-care provider if they provide sliding-scale pricing. In your city, you might also look for sliding-scale psychiatry services.
Search terms such as “sliding-scale psychiatrist in [your location]” to locate local experts who may be able to assist you at a reasonable cost.
Find a Low-Cost Clinic
Clinics that provide low-cost or free psychiatric care and counseling may be found in many large and medium-sized cities. To make seeing a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner more inexpensive, these clinics may offer lower cash rates and payment plans.
Some colleges also provide mental health services with the assistance of an intern or resident. Getting therapy this way is much less expensive than seeing a psychiatrist or other mental health professional in a private practice.
You may be able to find federally supported health clinics in your area that provide low-cost treatment and other mental health services. The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Find a Health Center service can help you find health centers near you.
Psychological consultations can be conducted over the phone or in person. You will normally express what has been on your mind and your overall feelings throughout each consultation with your psychologist. Following that, your psychologist may ask you follow-up questions to get you to think more deeply and come up with your own conclusions. They will also provide you with counsel or advice so that you can feel empowered in your pursuit of the life you desire.
Although not all health insurance policies cover mental health, many do cover mental health services, such as visits to a psychiatrist, in full or in part. This implies that if you’re covered by your employer’s health insurance plan or your own health insurance, you may be able to save money on psychiatry.
Psychiatrists can help us navigate our personal life as well as any mental health difficulties we may be dealing with.
Furthermore, psychiatrists may be advantageous for patients who require medication prescriptions because they collaborate with psychiatrists and have access to these prescriptions.
The cost will vary depending on a variety of circumstances, but an appointment with a psychiatrist might range from $75 to $200.
- verywellmind.com – How Much Does a Psychiatrist Cost Without Insurance?
- goodrx.com – How Much Does Psychiatry Cost Without Insurance?
- talktomira.com – How Much Does a Psychologist Visit Cost Without Insurance in 2021?
- forhims.com – How Much Does a Psychiatrist Cost?