This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.
Paying for therapy isn’t always a simple solution. Factors such as insurance, co-pays, and the cost of the session can go into whether or not you’re able to access resources. Knowing that you need therapy is the first step to getting help. But what do you do when you can’t afford it?
Read on to learn five ways to pay for therapy and what to do if you can’t afford it. We’ll also talk about how much therapy costs.
The most commonly used insurance is private insurance. These insurance plans are often offered through your workplace or through a health portal online. Many private insurances cost around 300-400 dollars a month or higher, depending on the coverage selected. Some may be more expensive to include psychology and psychiatry.
The first step in finding out if your insurance covers therapy is checking the policy information. Check with an insurance agent about how much it will cost to upgrade your plan if you need to, as well as any co-pays that might be required.
If your workplace offers private insurance, check with them about the cost of the plan. You may be able to have your insurance cost taken out of your paycheck automatically. Some workplaces offer insurance for free or at a small cost (under 20 dollars) if you sign up with their plan after a certain amount of time working at the location.
In the US, all 50 states have a version of a government insurance plan. This plan is likely Medicaid or Medicare. Some states use another name for it. Despite popular belief, Medicaid is available to people under 65 with a disability or income requirement. You can utilize their website to find out if you are eligible to receive assistance.
Medicare is often given to those with a permanent or temporary disability and those over age 65. However, there are some exceptions. You can check out the Medicare site for more information. As well as this, be sure to check in with your state and county’s government health office.
Affordable Online Therapy
For those that cannot afford insurance or do not qualify for government insurance, there are affordable therapy options available. Some online therapy providers have costs as low as $55 a week, with weekly support from your therapist over the phone, video chat, and messaging.
Paying out of pocket is never an easy thing to do. That’s why affordable therapy exists. You may also be able to find a sliding-scale fee provider in your town.
If you need therapy but want to be able to pay for sessions in advance, a personal loan is a good option. This option is best for those with good credit. You can use the loan to pay for your sessions and get help for an extended period instead of paying for one session and waiting a long time until you can afford another.
Paying Out of Pocket
Finally, you can pay out of pocket for therapy. On average, traditional therapy costs $100 to $200 an hour. Most people will see a therapist weekly, which means therapy could cost up to $800 a month for you if you’re paying out of pocket.
When it comes to paying out of pocket, choosing an affordable therapist is the best option. Online therapy is generally more affordable than in-person therapy.
What To Do if You Can’t Afford therapy
So, what can you do if you can’t afford any of the options above? Here are some ways to get help.
Create a Therapy Savings Account
Save up for therapy by creating a savings account dedicated to the cost. You can also save up for insurance that covers therapy. It’s up to you and which option is cheaper. After your goal has been met, use the funds to pay for a certain amount of therapy in advance.
Check Your Eligibility for Medicaid and Medicare
Always check your eligibility for government healthcare before deciding you cannot afford therapy. You may be surprised at the eligibility requirements in your state. Some states have a Medicaid or Medicare expansion program, which means there is more funding available for people who normally wouldn’t be able to be insured. Even teens and young adults can get Medicaid, with copays as low as $0.
Look for a Cheaper Therapy Option
Always look for a cheaper therapy option if you need to. You can search for the following keywords to find an affordable therapist:
- Affordable therapists in (city, state)
- Sliding scale therapy in (state)
- Cheap online therapy
- Affordable therapy
- Therapy for under 100 dollars
Therapists in rural areas are likely going to be cheaper than therapists in big cities, as well.
Research Mental Health on Your Own
You do also have the option to research mental health and coping strategies on your own. However, make sure you do your research on credible sites. Read articles and journals written by psychologists. You can also watch psychologists on YouTube. Many therapists share free tips online that can help you learn new things without ever leaving the comfort of your home.
If you are considering moving abroad and have the means to do so, there are many countries where mental health care is free and accessible to all. Some of these countries include:
- New Zealand
- France (psychiatry)
- United Kingdom
Always check the universal healthcare options for the country you’re moving to. You will also need a valid visa and reason to move. Some countries do not offer free healthcare to immigrants on tourist visas, so you will need a resident or citizenship status.
How Much Does Therapy Cost?
In general, therapy costs about $45-200 an hour. Some therapy costs more, and some may cost less. However, you will find most therapy is in the realm of about $120 per hour. If you do not wish to pay this cost, insurance is available for most people.
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