Insurance, Fees, & FAQ
Providers at Affinity Psychological Services are in-network with the following insurance companies:
- America’s PPO
- Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS)
- Cigna EAP
- Health EZ
- Health Partners
- Hennepin Health
- Medicaid (MHCP)
- Medicare **only select providers**
- Preferred One
- South Country
- United Healthcare (UHC)
We believe that, if you have insurance coverage, you should be able to use it for your mental health needs. Therefore we are happy to help you navigate your benefits as best we can. If your provider here is an in-network provider for the insurance plans listed above, we will file claims with them directly. We also have the ability to file out-of-network claims directly with most other insurance plans on your behalf as well. Please be sure you understand the fees and process for using your insurance benefits, including required co-pays, co-insurance, deductibles, pre-authorizations, limits of treatment, and limited provider networks. You may be able to be reimbursed for all or part of your session fees through your out-of-network benefits or your healthcare savings account (HSA), and you will always have access to your financial statements through your secure client portal.
We make every effort to provide you with an accurate estimate as to your financial obligations for our services prior to your initial session. However it should be understood that this is only an estimate and may change after we file the claim for you. We are always happy to answer any questions you have about mental health benefits and your insurance coverage – just email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will respond as quickly as possible.
Payment & Fees
We require clients to keep a credit or debit card on file for ease of payment. Please note that all session fees, co-pays, or co-insurance amounts are due at the time of service unless you have made other arrangements prior to your session.
The private pay fee for a standard 53-minute session is $220, which is also the amount we bill to insurance companies.
The private pay fee for a standard 53-minute session is $220, which is also the amount we bill to insurance companies. Please note that couples therapy can be covered by insurance when one partner has a diagnosed mental health condition. If you have questions about the benefits and drawbacks of using insurance in this way, feel free to get in touch with us so we can talk with you further.
The private pay fee for a standard 1-hr initial medication evaluation is $440. For a standard 30min return visit, the fee is $375. These are the amounts billed to insurance companies as well.
Reduced Fee Sessions
Affinity attempts to provide essential mental health services to all clients, regardless of their ability to pay. Discounts for our services are based on family size and income. Please email email@example.com to ask for more information about how you can apply for our sliding fee discount program.
How do I know whether to seek counseling?
If you’re here reading the answer to that question, there’s a strong likelihood that now is good time for you to pursue counseling. It probably means you’ve identified something in your life that isn’t working for you right now and you’re feeling somewhat motivated to work on it. Jump on that motivation! Like any other problem in life, it’s generally easier to address things early on than to wait until the situation becomes worse.
Do I really need counseling? I can usually handle my problems.
How do we define “need?” When your pipe bursts, you don’t necessarily “need” to call a plumber. There’s a good chance that if you talk to enough people, watch enough YouTube videos, read enough books or articles, try enough new approaches, troubleshoot enough roadblocks, and maintain enough motivation along the way, you can probably fix your pipe. And you could probably improve your psychological well-being on your own as well. But as your therapist, we can do a lot to augment and expedite your experience. We’ve already read the books and worked with a lot of other people, giving us significant knowledge and experience from which you can benefit. We can offer more objective and authentic observations and feedback than you might typically be able to find in your personal life. And therapy provides accountability to stay connected to the changes you want to make. We want to help you learn how to handle things so you can get back to living your life the way you want to live it.
What happens in an individual therapy session?
In your first session your therapist will ask you a lot questions to better understand what’s going on in your life right now, what your goals are for counseling, and who you are in the larger picture. At the end of that session they will give you some initial impressions and will talk with you about what you might expect from your therapy work together. In further sessions, the focus of the session will often be determined by what feels important for you to talk about or work on at that time. People are often surprised by how “normal” and conversational therapy feels, because it really is a back-and-forth between you and your therapist. They will be listening carefully to hear where you might be getting tripped up or stuck, or what might be impacting the situation, and they will let you know about this to see if it feels relevant to you. They will sometimes offer information to help you understand certain patterns of thought or behavior. They will ask clarifying questions and will help you get clear on how you’d like to approach the situation and what steps you might take towards that goal.
What happens in a couples therapy session?
The couples therapy assessment process usually spans four sessions in 3-4 weeks time. In the first session, your therapist will be gathering information about what’s bringing you to therapy, the history of your relationship, and how you typically interact with one another. The second and third sessions are individual meetings (ideally occurring in the same week) with each partner where we go further into the material covered in the first session. At home during this time you and your partner may also elect to complete an extensive online assessment. The fourth session is the feedback session where your therapist combines all the information to give you a complete picture of your relationship strengths and areas for growth, as well as a treatment plan laying out how you will use this information to work towards your therapy goals. In further sessions, your therapist will use a number of research-backed interventions to help you build on your friendship, regulate conflict, and work towards a meaningful shared future. They will help coach you as you use these techniques to interact with one another so eventually you can implement all of these skills on your own.
What do people report after being in counseling?
When we do final “wrap up” sessions with clients they report a number of positive outcomes of therapy. First and foremost, they feel better than when they began therapy. And that feeling better is generally a result of a number of things. People tend to find that they better understand themselves and how they get into particular negative cycles. They find that they’ve been able to improve the running monologue going on in their heads throughout the day so that they feel more self-confident, more empowered, and more empathetic with themselves and others. One of the biggest improvements people generally see is in their relationships. They feel more able to be authentic with other people, allowing them to feel closer to others as well as to feel more supported and accepted by others. It is not unusual for clients to have tapered down on their psychotropic medications, or stopped them altogether, as they invest in and benefit from these improvements in multiple areas of their lives. Lastly, we find that almost everyone is surprised by how helpful therapy has been and grateful they gave themselves the opportunity to try it.
What is the difference between EAP and therapy sessions?
EAP Sessions: Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) provide employees with a limited number of EAP sessions offering solution-oriented short-term counseling, support, and resource referrals. The focus is on finding practical solutions to a single, immediate issue that is personal or work-related. EAP sessions are shorter than therapy sessions and they reimburse providers 50-60% less than a typical therapy session. There is generally zero cost to the employee for EAP sessions. Employees can switch from EAP to therapy at any time, regardless of whether the EAP sessions have been exhausted.
Therapy Sessions: Therapy is a more open-ended, in-depth process that explores deeper emotional and psychological concerns. Thus, therapy focuses on addressing underlying issues rather than solely providing immediate solutions. Some potential therapy goals may include gaining insight, developing coping strategies, and promoting personal growth and healing. The frequency and duration of therapy sessions is determined collaboratively between the client and therapist. Clients are generally responsible for only a small copay or coinsurance amount each session, once their insurance deductible is met.
When trying a medication, how long before I start to feel better?
This is different for each individual since we don’t always find the perfect medication with the first trial. At times it takes a few trials before we find what works best with your body and your individual chemistry.
What happens if I get side effects from a medication?
It is true that each medication has the potential for side effects. Fortunately, most side effects happen immediately, within the first 3 months after you begin taking it. During that time, we will be monitoring you more closely. And we are always here to answer your questions so we can help you determine whether something you’re experiencing is a side effect – or not.
Do I have to see a therapist if I am interested in medication management?
Multiple studies indicate that, for many conditions, medication plus therapy is a more effective combination than either approach individually. Thus, the answer to this question really depends on your particular challenges and goals. For instance, someone struggling with depression and in the midst of a custody battle will mostly likely find that therapy is an important and beneficial part of their overall wellness plan. A person experiencing ADHD symptoms may benefit both from medication and skill-building gained through psychotherapy. While therapy is not necessarily a requirement, your prescriber may recommend therapy as a way to augment your treatment process.
I filled out an online questionnaire and it diagnosed me with ADHD. Can I get a stimulant prescription now?
Online questionnaires, in-person questionnaires, or diagnosis by anyone who is not a licensed mental health professional is not a valid diagnosis. In the case of ADHD/ADD, we request a formal diagnosis performed by a licensed psychologist within the last 3 years to consider starting a stimulant. There are many other mental health diagnoses that have symptoms which mimic ADHD symptoms. Thus it is important to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms before prescribing new and potentially unnecessary medications.
You have the power and the ability to bring about
change in your life.