Services and Fees
As a licensed, independent therapist here in the Lowcountry I offer individual, couples and family counseling typically for a 45 to 50 minute session. I can schedule extended sessions as the need arises. Telephone or remote sessions are also available, and fees for these services will be established prior to the session on a case by case basis.
I believe quality mental care should be accessible and affordable. That is why I accept most insurances and also accept a sliding scale fee for those under financial hardship. Fees related to insurance are based on your insurance company’s copays and deductibles.
These include but are not limited to:
Blue Cross/Blue Shield
Tricare Prime and Standard
United Healthcare or United Behavioral Health
Carolina Care Plan
Medical Mutual/SuperMed (NEW!)
Single client contract available for many other insurances on a case by case basis with appropriate fees applied. Individuals may call for a quote prior to the session.
Employee Assistance Programs. Ask your Human Resources contact to see if your company offers this additional benefit. The individual must ask for authorization prior to services. Individuals who have this benefit pay no fees.
Workers Compensation Cases also accepted. Individuals who have this benefit pay no fees for these services.
A sliding scale fee is provided to individuals who are under financial hardship. This is how I maintain a practice that is true to my social work roots, affordable and accessible. Please call for a quote based on your individual needs.
In an effort to keep fees affordable and accessible for all, individuals will be charged a full session fee for all missed appointments or late cancellations made within 24 hours.
American Psychological Association Report
“Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act”
In 2008, Congress passed the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act taking a great step forward in the decades-plus fight to end insurance discrimination against those seeking treatment for mental health and substance use disorders. This law requires health insurance to cover both mental and physical health equally. Under this law, insurance companies can no longer arbitrarily limit the number of hospital days or outpatient treatment sessions, or assign higher copays or deductibles for those in need of psychological services.
The 2008 act closes several of the loopholes left by the 1996 Mental Health Parity Act and extends the equal coverage to all aspects of health insurance plans, including day and visit limits, dollar limits, coinsurance, co-payments, deductibles and out of pocket maximums. It preserves existing state parity and consumer protection laws while extending protection of mental health services to 82 million Americans not protected by state laws. The bill also ensures mental health coverage for both in network and out of network services.
Research shows that physical health is directly connected to mental health and millions of Americans know that suffering from a mental health disorder can be as frightening and debilitating as any major physical disorder. Passage of this law will lead the health care system in the United States to start treating the whole person, both mind and body.
What does the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act do?
Applies to groups of more than 50 employees: The act, effective January 1, 2010, ends inequities in health insurance benefits between mental/substance use disorders and medical/surgical benefits for group health plans with more than 50 employees.
What diagnoses are included under Parity?
The parity covers all diagnoses for mental disorders. There are no exclusions. In effect, whatever a plan covers must be at a parity with (equal to) what is covered for physical health problems. As in the current system, a health plan may deny coverage based on medical necessity or under the terms of its coverage contract with an employer.
Can Benefits for a particular diagnosis be excluded from coverage under the new parity law?
Yes, employers are not prohibited from dropping coverage for a diagnosis. The act broadly defines mental health and substance use disorder benefits to mean benefits with respect to services for mental health conditions and substance use disorders, as defined under the terms of the plan and in accordance with applicable federal and state law.
Can health plans drop mental health and substance use benefits completely?
Yes. The act does not require health plans to provide mental health and substance use benefits, but if the plan does not provide such coverage, it must be at parity with physical health coverage.
Elimination of these benefits would likely be very expensive to health plans. A Kaiser Family Foundation Annual Survey of benefits showed that 97 percent of plans already provide mental health and substance use benefits. It is now well accepted these benefits are an integral part of treating most health conditions. Effective treatment of most illnesses like diabetes, asthma, and congestive heart conditions requires a full recognition and treatment of comorbid (co-occurring) mental health and substance use disorders. END
As you can see we have made tremendous progress in destigmatizing seeking help for mental and substance use disorders but we have a long way to go and must be vigilant in protecting and maintaining these rights. The powers that be acknowledge that mental health and physical health are intertwined. Call me and we can work together to help you feel better mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally….the whole package! Ruth