Benefits of Using a Sliding Scale

While not billing insurance for counseling services can result in more out-of-pocket expenses, there are benefits to using a sliding scale for services. My hope is to accept both insurance and sliding-scale payment for services in the future; however, while I am working on my LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) using the sliding scale is my only option.

There are perks to this type fee scale:

  1. The number of therapy sessions is not limited. Insurance companies require a mental health diagnosis, and based on that diagnosis they approve a certain number of sessions. Recently I spoke with someone who was in counseling whose insurance only covered 6 sessions; she feels she could benefit from more. This also means a person can really structure counseling sessions around a timeline that works best for them, and start and stop the process during times they feel they could most benefit from this.
  2. Privacy. Billing your employer’s insurance means your employer or benefits person may know you are seeking counseling services.
  3. Case by case affordability. Using the sliding scale allows your counselor (if they would like) to create a fee schedule that is affordable on a case by case basis. With insurance, there is often a required copay amount the therapist has no control over.
  4. It helps those that don’t have insurance or don’t have insurance that covers counseling. For some, billing insurance is just not an option. This means they must find a clinician that will accept private pay.

I hope this sliding scale fee option works for my clients and appreciate being able to provide these services while I continue working towards my license.