It turns out, my insurance is not covering my former therapy visits.
$874 is quite a chunk to swallow when you think that, at worst, you are responsible for a $15 co-pay. I know, it is my responsibility to follow up on my insurance. I sign the papers that say I will be the responsible party if the insurance does not pay.
Well, the insurance did not pay.
Now, however, I am seeing an in-network provider that my insurance company has approved. They even gave an approval code to use at check-in. They sent her the information before my first visit, and she had all of what was needed. She gets paid, and my insurance now covers it.
After the first six visits, my co-pay is $15.
The first six visits are covered at 100%. That was what I had expected when I gave the other health care provider my insurance card. The receptionist said, “no problem, we will contact them.” “If there are any problems, we’ll let you know.” Guess what, they didn’t let me know and they kept booking appointments for me.
When I got the bill in the mail a few weeks ago, I knew I had to make a change.
So, back to the phones, I was able to find in-network resources. And today was my first therapy appointment with a new person. She is not an LCSW, she has a Ph.D. in Psychiatry. Her curiosity and new perspective helped me make connections about events in my past even as I was giving her an overview of my 43+ years with depression.
I will admit it, I was a little nervous “starting over” with a new therapist.
READ MORE: Is this really how I am seen?
When we spoke on the phone, she had reminded me that our first session would involve me coming early and filling out paperwork. She kept her promise, giving me a clipboard with almost a ream of paper on it. Actually, it was 14 pages, but it seemed like a lot more and took some time to complete.
The first part of our session was devoted to HIPPA and confidentiality.
First, she wanted to make sure I knew what she wouldn’t talk about with others, and what she was bound by law to report. “Are you a threat to yourself or others?” That would be a reason she would need to get someone involved, or if I was caring for a child or aging adult and there were indications of abuse, she would report that too.
I applauded her transparency and agreed to continue.
So, my recap of how I came to be diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder gave me a chance to replay major moments in my life. And almost right away, I felt ok talking. I wasn’t guarded or careful in choosing my words, but open and honest about what had happened. In addition, I was able to share a bit about how I felt about some situations.
Wanting to be prepared for our first meeting, I put together a list of things to cover or ask about.
My list included dealing with getting out of bed, my medication, my new focus, my support community and how we would work together. Everything I needed to know, we discussed. By the end of our first session, I was already looking forward to coming back.
For me, starting over wasn’t really starting over after all.
Even with a new therapist, it is part of my journey. And the more insights I have, the more tools I will have to help me lead a balanced life. Perhaps needing to find an in-network therapist was a way to get a new perspective and learn even more about living with depression.
After all, “I have depression, depression does not have me.”
My concealed depression is written under the alias “Depression is not my boss.” I have certifications in SMART Recovery and am a Global Career Development Facilitator.
Last year, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder.