Private Pay vs Insurance

When I started my private practice, I planned on being completely private pay and not accept any insurance.  I had heard so many stories about getting paid by insurance, how insurance companies will randomly audit your charts and how private pay was the only way to go.  So I I said no to insurance and I set up my website, put an ad in Psychology Today and started marketing and almost every time I got a call the first question was “Do  you accept my insurance?”  I would say no and explain about out of network benefits and 9 out of 10 times the person would say no thank you I want to use my insurance coverage.  So I started lowering my fee and yes I got clients but my fee was so low I was making no real  profit.  I spoke to a friend who is also a therapist in private practice and she said just accept one or two plans it’s not so bad and you can use my biller.  So I gave in and got on 2 panels and now I have a combination of private pay and insurance clients and my practice is going well.  I realized the people I really want to work with can not afford upwards of $150 a week for therapy and I don’t believe it’s because they don’t value therapy, they truly don’t have the money.  I haven’t had any difficulties with insurance companies and get paid on time and they haven’t questioned my treatment of clients and most other therapists whom I’ve spoken to outside of Facebook groups who accept insurance also say that accepting insurance as not caused them any major issues.  Of  course each person is different and it’s certainly possible to build a practice without accepting insurance but for me this was the best decision.

 

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