You know you need someone to talk to. You’ve been contemplating seeing a counselor for awhile. Maybe friends and family have told you it might help. So you pull out your insurance card and check your benefits. You’re told you don’t have mental health coverage or that you have a high-deductible plan. Perhaps you’ve found a therapist you really connect with, but he/she isn’t in your network. Or maybe you can’t pull out your insurance card because you’re not insured. How on earth do you afford therapy if something like this applies to you?
I have good news – there are ways to afford weekly therapy sessions. Here are a few tips to help you have the money you need to get weekly therapy.
Use your flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA).
Many employers offer these as pre-tax deductions for medical bills. Paying for therapy is an allowable expense and many therapists take FSA and HSA cards. If the therapist you’ve chosen does not, you can always ask if he/she is willing to contact their card company and set that up. You also can submit the bill directly to your FSA/HSA company and get reimbursed.
Revise your budget.
Weekly therapy costs around $125-$200, depending on the therapist and the area in which you live. Looking carefully at your budget are there some areas you can cut temporarily while you see a therapist? Maybe it’s giving up a weekly massage or daily lunch out during the week. Maybe it’s skipping this soccer season for your kids so you can be an even more amazing, healthy parent. You also may be able to cut things like purchasing lottery tickets or alcohol for a time to help you find room in your finances. If you don’t have a budget, now might be a good time to make one. You can DIY or you can get the help of a financial coach. One of my favorite coaches is Melissa Thomas – she is fabulous at helping folks both get out of debt but also helping them find ways to pay for needed services – like therapy!
Pick up a part-time job.
There are a ton of things you can do that take just a little effort, but pay reasonably well – helping you afford therapy. You can drive for Lyft or Uber. You can deliver groceries for Instacart or Shipt. The Frugal Fanatic lists even more ways you can earn some additional income – from pet sitting to cleaning houses. A little effort can go a long way – and remember therapy is an investment in you.
Check with your faith community.
If you are connected to a local faith community ask if they will help financially with therapy. Many churches assist their members with the cost of therapy, and if they don’t already have an existing benevolence fund they may be willing to assist anyway.
Here are some added benefits many don’t consider when looking at paying for therapy out of pocket – the therapist does not have to give you a diagnosis that becomes part of your permanent record, nor does any other party get to dictate the type or duration of counseling you receive. While therapy is an investment, it’s one that is well worth it in the long run and can have benefits not only for your mental health, but even for your physical health and relationships. Finding a way to afford therapy out of pocket is completely possible.
If you or a loved one is interested in exploring therapy further, contact me for a free, 15-minute consultation. No matter what your insurance benefits are (or aren’t) we can figure out what your needs are and get you on the journey of not just merely surviving your life, but really living it!