One of the first steps in looking for a therapist is deciding if you are going limit your search by insurance. It is often, but not always, less expensive to see a therapist who is “in-network;” you can check your in- and out-of-network insurance benefits online or by calling the member services number on the back of your insurance card.

If you decide to only look inside your insurance network, you will be responsible for two kinds of fees:

  1. The deductible: Every medical expense you pay contributes to meeting the deductible, a set number that varies based on insurance plan. The deductible resets annually; you will pay for each therapy session out of pocket, until you have paid enough that your expenses exceed the deductible.
  2. The copay: After you have reached the deductible, you will pay a set portion of each session fee and the insurance company will pay the rest. The amount you pay is the same as your “copay” for seeing a medical (non-specialist) doctor.

You can also use insurance benefits to get money back on seeing a therapist who is out-of-network; this is called “co-insurance” and is usually expressed as the percentage you are responsible for paying after reimbursement.

What do “in-network” and “out-of-network” mean?
What questions should I ask my insurance company to check coverage?