It’s difficult enough to come to terms with the fact that you might need the help of a Psychologist. But it’s even more difficult when you don’t have health insurance. There are, however, things you can do to lessen the hit on your wallet while still getting the care you need.
There are many reasons why someone might not have health insurance. Perhaps you lost your job recently. Maybe you’re a part-time employee without health benefits. In either case, your first task will be to determine whether you need to see a psychologist or a therapist. They’re not the same thing.
So let’s fast forward and assume you’ve done the research. You need to see a psychologist. It just so happens they tend to be more expensive than therapists. So what are your options?
Take Advantage of Psychologists in Training
Lot’s of folks are familiar with getting dental care from dental schools. Students who are still studying need a place to practice. The world of Psychology is no different.
If you’re concerned about having care provided by a student, understand that good training centers always have licensed psychologists overseeing the process.
These training centers are typically found in universities and are significantly cheaper (and sometimes zero cost) than visiting a practicing psychologist.
The Association of Psychology Training Clinics maintains a list of the training centers you can contact.
Call a Psychologist Office & Explain Your Situation
While doctors of all sorts charge and make a lot of money, they’re also in it to help people. It’s very possible that you may find a psychologist willing to treat you at a discounted rate if you’re upfront about being uninsured.
It’s likely you’ll have to call a lot of them before you find one willing to work with you, and it’s no guarantee – but it’s worth a try. Ask for a price and make sure they know you aren’t insured and you need the best price possible.
Consider Using an Online Therapy Service
Have you ever found yourself pouring out your problems to a stranger in an Internet chat room? Well, if you grew up in the 90’s, you probably did.
Nowadays, there are actual services that will match you to remote therapists and psychologists. The out of pocket expenses for these services are typically cheaper than in-office visits. Sometimes they’re even cheaper out of pocket than in-office visits with Health Insurance.
The nice thing about online therapy services is that you can work them around your schedule. Online therapy providers like BetterHelp include both licensed psychologists and therapists of various disciplines to ensure you get what you need.
NAMI (What the Heck is That??)
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
The folks at NAMI can help you find help for mental illness. Their helpline is always available.
Living life without health insurance can be a difficult path to walk. But fortunately, there are ways you can get help when you need it. You just have to know what you’re looking for.
Check out some of the additional reading material below for more options.
Sources & additional reading:
The Penny Hoarder: 9 Ways to Get Free or Cheap Therapy When You Don’t Have Insurance
Healthcare Bluebook: Working with Your Doctor to Find a Fair Price
National Alliance on Mental Illness: About NAMI
Buzzfeed: Here’s What To Do If You Can’t Afford Therapy
CarefulCents: The Average Cost of Health Insurance
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