Fees for Therapeutic Services
What’s the cost of not doing this?
How frequently we meet following your initial session will depend on your current circumstances and goals, your budget, and the intensity of your need for support. Clients generally achieve more enduring and meaningful changes when they establish a consistent rhythm in weekly sessions, which provides the following:
- Structure & momentum to make changes at a steady pace
- Continuity to process & integrate events session to session
- Safety to explore emotionally provocative life events
- Ample support to practice coping skills & stay focused
- Opportunities to transfer new skills to everyday life
- Space to experiment with new behavior
Intake Interview & Feedback (90 minutes)………………………………………..$200
Individual Psychotherapy Session (50-80 minutes)…………………..$165-200
Couple/Family Psychotherapy Session (50-80 minutes)……………$200-250
Child Therapy & Parenting Support (50-80 minutes)…………………$175-225
Life Coaching & Behavior/Values Analysis (50-80 minutes)……….$150-200
Group Therapy & Facilitated Support Groups (90 minutes)………….$40-75
If weekly meetings aren’t feasible, we encourage you to explore creative scheduling options to stay focused on your goals. Feel free to ask!
NOTE: Due to the volume of insurance referrals we’re experiencing, our providers have very limited availability, and we can accept ONLY Aetna, Kaiser, Health Net/MHN, and private pay at this time. Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting Medi-Cal or EAP.
Financial Hardship & Accommodations
If consistent therapeutic support feels beyond your reach financially, please don’t hesitate to talk with us about it.
All Spark Center therapists are open to negotiating an affordable fee for a reasonably limited number of sessions. Monthly income balanced with present requirements for support will determine eligibility and cost.
If you find a therapist who is uniquely qualified to support you, it’s worth setting up a free consultation and discussing your options.
Therapists-in-training are informed of the latest, most effective, empirically validated therapy approaches and motivated to introduce clients to a wide-ranging spectrum of appropriate interventions.
Working with a therapist-in-training can be a unique and valuable opportunity to receive comprehensive team support. Pre-licensed professionals receive intensive supervision, support, and input from Spark’s highly competent, licensed clinicians who will review and influence many aspects of your self-development experience.
For all of our clients, Spark’s collaborative approach means you’ll benefit from your therapist’s consultation with other experienced team members on how to provide the most effective support to you.
Spark Center accepts only debit/credit cards processed via our online TherapyPortal.
Insurance & HSAs
Focusing on finding only someone who takes your insurance might not be worth sacrificing your opportunity for expert care, connection, and growth. Learn More About Insurance…
Spark Center prioritizes your privacy and strives to keep the payment process simple. Like most private practices, we accept only a few in-network insurance payments directly (see above), but we can provide documentation for you to submit to your insurance carrier for out-of-network reimbursement. Most clients receive between 50-80% of the allowable cost of their sessions after their deductible is met.
We’ll contact your insurance carrier as soon as possible BEFORE your first appointment to determine your coverage for mental health services in order to answer the following questions for you:
How much will I be reimbursed for out-of-network services?
What deductible must I reach before coverage “kicks in”?
How do I conveniently submit claims?
Our statements of service, invoices, and superbills are easy to read and readily available if you need to submit them to your insurance provider for out-of-network reimbursement or taxes.
If you need assistance, we’ll walk you through the process!
More About Insurance
We get it: It’s frustrating when you think you’ve found the right therapist and then discover they don’t take your insurance. Understanding the factors that influence a therapist’s decision to not accept insurance also may be important to your well-being, and we hope you take time to consider these points as you go about your research.
Low Reimbursement Rates
Insurance companies reimburse therapists at rates unreasonably below (and often less than 50% of) typical session fees, making them unaffordable to accept given business expenses and investment in specialized education and training. Many insurance carriers have outdated reimbursement rates, in spite of the fact that the costs of running a private practice are increasing. Insurance companies also aren’t progressive in their treatment of mental health vs. physical health. On average, therapists are reimbursed 20% less than primary care physicians to treat the exact same mental health conditions, even though therapists often are more specifically educated and trained to do so.
Many carriers take several weeks to months to pay claims, or they reimburse on an unpredictable schedule, which adversely affects the cash flow for small businesses and the ability to reliably compensate staff.
It’s remarkably difficult to get on insurance panels—therapists often encounter long waitlists, sometimes spanning several months if not years. Once accepted by a panel, therapists spend an inordinate amount of time on paperwork, particularly when there are payment delays. Therapists typically have to resolve these issues without any billing or administrative support, and the process to verify benefits, submit/resubmit claims, resolve unpaid balances, and provide diagnostic explanations, treatment plans, and status updates can be convoluted, inconvenient, and requires time and energy that could be better spent supporting clients.
Quality of Care
Seeing fewer clients and accepting out-of-pocket fees encourages more scheduling flexibility, increased responsiveness, opportunities to develop new interventions, workshops, groups, and other therapeutic activities for clients, and more time to consult with colleagues to deliver the highest quality care.
Out-of-network providers are able to specialize more, meaning you are more likely to find a therapist who has focused experience, education, and training to address your specific issues vs. a generalist. They have greater freedom to use innovative approaches and interventions that are based on data from current research.
Insurance companies only cover what is “medically necessary.” So, paying for therapy with insurance likely entails placing a pre-existing condition permanently on your health records. Often, the reasons for starting therapy (e.g., personal growth, relationship issues, self-esteem, etc.) are not diagnosable disorders. Nevertheless, insurance will require one to cover services. For example, if you’re struggling with anxiety because you lost your job, your therapist would have to diagnose you with a mental health disorder in order for your sessions to be covered.
Sessions & Privacy Limitations
Many insurance carriers cap the frequency and number of sessions or total amount they will pay for therapy. They have the right to audit your diagnosis, treatment plan, and progress notes to determine medical necessity and may demand this information directly from your therapist. They also may revoke your coverage if they disagree with your treatment plan.
If you’re interested in starting therapy, hopefully you won’t walk away because of insurance. Some PPO (not HMO) insurance plans will cover 50-70% of the cost for out-of-network mental health services, and Spark Center therapists can provide you with an invoice that you can submit for reimbursement. Ask your insurance provider about out-of-network mental health coverage and what deductible you need to reach before your costs are covered for out-of-network care. You also can use pre-tax income to pay for therapy by taking advantage of an HSA or flexible spending account.
And please remember that Spark Center therapists do offer reduced fees, meaning they will work with you to set an affordable price for a reasonably limited number of sessions. If you identify a therapist who is uniquely qualified to support you, it’s worth setting up a free consultation and discussing your options.