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FAQs About Starting Therapy, Cost, Insurance, & Policies

The goal of the phone consult is to give you guidance and answers. 

We know it’s not easy to reach out for support.  You may not know exactly what kind of help would be best in your particular situation. That’s okay.  During the phone call, you can expect us to ask for more details about what you’re looking for help with.  This will give us an idea if one of our therapists  would be a good fit for your needs and we’ll help you understand how they can help. 

It’s also your opportunity to ask questions and decide if you’d like to work with one of our therapists in the privacy of our Coral Gables office in Miami, FL.  We’ll also explain our rates/fees, how we work with insurance companies, out-of-network benefits, etc.

If everything sounds like a good a fit, then we’ll get you scheduled for your first session.  We’ll need your full name, email address, phone number,  and credit card to reserve your appointment. You’ll get an e-mail with a link to all the paperwork to be completed within 48 hours.  (Don’t worry – your information will be protected by a state-of-the-art system with bank-grade encryption.)

In some cases, we may not be able (or the best suited) to help you. And we’ll tell you as much.

We’ll explain why and give you the names of trusted colleagues who will be able to support you. This way you don’t have to spend hours on Google searching 😉  {FYI, we don’t get a referral fee, finder’s fee, kickback, or any other form of compensation from the professionals we may refer you to. [That’s illegal!] We do it because we’re genuinely good people that believe in helping others because it’s the right thing to do.}

Your therapist prepares for your first session by reviewing your answers to the initial paperwork you completed online.  He or she will have questions to jumpstart the conversation, and you’ll get deeper into your story and your goals for counseling.  All the while, you’re getting to know each other, and you’re getting a clearer sense of whether this the psychologist you’d like to continue exploring difficult and vulnerable topics in counseling.

Expect to meet weekly with your therapist at the beginning (first month or so) in the comfort of our centrally-located Miami office, and then you and your therapist will decide together the frequency that makes sense to help you achieve your goals for psychotherapy. 

There aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to this. It entirely depends on what brought you to psychotherapy, your goals, and your effort to practice what you’re working on in your daily life.  Each person takes a different path.

During the first session, we’ll explore what makes the most sense for your situation (e.g. lifestyle, travel/work schedule, finances, etc.) and come up with a plan. Your therapist will monitor your progress and have ongoing conversations with you about it. Once you reach your goals, together with your therapist, you’ll wrap up therapy and say goodbye. Some clients prefer to check-in with their therapist as needed or for monthly maintenance sessions after their initial work together ends. Others decide to stay in therapy and shift their focus to other goals and areas of their lives. Again, we’re here to support you whatever your situation calls for.

We promise to support you as long as you need, but no more than necessary. 

Update as of March 2020: Based on 157 responses to our anonymous exit survey, 73% of clients successfully complete therapy in 10 sessions or less. The average number of sessions is 8.

No. As licensed psychologists in Florida, our doctors cannot prescribe medications. If they think medication may be helpful in your situation, they will discuss this with you so you understand your options.  If you decide that medication is something you want to explore further, our doctors can refer you to trusted psychiatrists who can prescribe medications for mental health conditions. You can learn more about the difference between psychologists and psychiatrists here.

Yes, pretty much.  There are a few exceptions, though.  These are:

  • if there is a danger to someone’s life (yours and/or someone else),
  • reported emotional, physical, or sexual abuse and/or neglect of a minor (ages 17 and under),
  • reported emotional, physical, or sexual abuse and/or neglect of a dependent adults (i.e. elderly person or someone with special needs),
  • court order signed by a judge, or
  • you sign a consent form for your therapist to discuss your treatment with a specific person/professional (e.g. primary care doctor, attorney, etc.)

We’re glad you asked.  Across 50+ years of research and data, the intangible thing that heals in therapy is a good fit between the client and the therapist.  It’s that spark of connection that only happens with certain people (and is so awesome when it does).  Each of our mental health professionals is different, with their own style and vibe, informed by their past professional and personal experiences. 

Check out their bios to get a sense of which of our therapists would be a good fit for you.

Update as of March 2020: Based on 157 responses to our anonymous exit survey:

  • 81% of clients were satisfied that their goals were met in therapy with one of our clinicians
  • 95% said they would refer someone they care about to us

The cost of psychotherapy varies depending on the provider’s level of education, licensure (Masters vs Doctoral level), additional certifications, and area(s) of expertise.    

The initial session (60-minute) is $195, and $170 for follow-up 45-minute sessions with Dr. Erika Martinez, Dr. Frank Martinez-Mesa, & Dr. Joyce Szentpaly.

Generally, we accept cash, check, debit, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Health Savings Accounts (HSA), and Flex Savings Accounts (FSA) at this time.  Payment for certain forms of psychological testing must be made in cash.

We do not accept Care Credit. {It’s not us; it’s them.} We contacted Care Credit in March 2020 and here’s what their representative said: Care Credit does not cover mental health services like psychotherapy or psychological testing at this time due to liability considerations. 

Due to legal and ethical requirements, clients are not allowed to carry account balances as doing so can muddy the waters of clinical work. This means that full payment is due at the time of service. For therapy, this means payment is due at the end of each session. For testing, this means payment is due when test administration concludes (and before the final feedback session).

Sure, but if you’re age 18 or older, we’ll need to get: their written authorization to charge their credit card; and their signed acknowledgment of understanding that they will not have written or verbal access to any of the content of your therapy without your written consent.  We’ll send you the paperwork through the client portal.

Not often.  Here’s why: our philosophy is that psychotherapy as an investment in your future, like buying real estate or saving money in a 401K.   And just like those forms of investment, counseling can yield a great return on investment, so our therapists charge accordingly.  With that said, we realize that not everyone can afford to work with us.  We’re happy to refer you to other providers, agencies, and centers that can financially accommodate individuals that need sliding scale or reduced fee services. Here are some of our favorites:

Open Path Collective is a great website where you can find a local therapist that offers therapy at reduced rates.

The Goodman Psychological Services Center (GPSC) is a local teaching clinic accredited by the American Psychological Association that provides low-cost therapy and psychological testing by students training to become therapists and psychologists.  All the students are supervised regularly by a licensed professional to ensure a high quality of care. **Fun Fact: All 3 doctors at Envision Wellness trained as practicum students and interns at GPSC. ;-)**

Not sure what a fair cost for therapy is?  Check out Healthcare Bluebook and Fair Health Consumer.  Type in your zip code and search for ‘psychotherapy 45 minutes’ or CPT code 90834; or ‘psychotherapy 60 minutes’ or CPT code 90837.

Yes.  We ask for a minimum of 24 hours notice if you need to cancel a session.  A cancellation fee will be charged to the credit card on file if you fail to attend a scheduled session or give less than 24 hours notice of cancellation.

45-minute sessions are consider the common “clinical hour” in the mental health field. There are two reasons for this:

#1 The remaining 15 minutes are used by the clinician to write session notes, send client’s homework assignments, and complete other documentation related to each case.

#2 Insurances don’t generally pay for or provide out-of-network reimbursement for 60-minute sessions anymore. They only cover 60-min sessions for severe mental health diagnoses (e.g. Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, etc.).

Ultimately, it’s your choice. Please inform your therapist if you’d like a 60-minute session. He or she will be able to give you an in-depth explanation so that you can make an informed choice. 

Psychological Assessments

$350 Gifted or College/Career Assessment

$550 AD/HD Assessment (Adults Only to confirm diagnosis for medication)

$350 Pre-Surgical Assessment

$1000 Immigration Assessment (N-648; for Citizenship Exam Waiver)

$1200 Immigration Assessment (T&U Visas, Asylum, Hardship, & VAWA)

$475 Pre-Adoption – 1 adult without personality test

$675 Pre-Adoption – 2 adults without personality tests

$725 Pre-Adoption – 1 adult with personality test (required depending on country of adoption)

$925 Pre-Adoption – 2 adults with 2 personality tests (required depending on country of adoption)

$2500 Psychoeducational (Learning Disorders or AD/HD; accommodations on national standardized tests)

$1000 Psychodiagnostic Assessment

$2000+ Neuropsychological Assessment*

*The cost of neuropsychological evaluations varies based on the reason for the evaluation, the time to administer and number of instruments used, and costs of instrument administration.  Click here to set up a free consult during which we’ll be able to give you an estimate based on your needs.

Rush Fees

Immigration (N-648, T & U Visas, Asylum, Hardship, VAWA), Pre-Adoption, Psychoeds, Psychodiagnostic, Neuropsych

+$500 More than 72 hours but less than 14 days

+$800 72 hours or less

Gifted, Career/College, Adult AD/HD

+$500 More than 72 hours but less than 7 days

+$800 72 Hours or less

No, we don’t accept insurance.  We’re a boutique-style private practice that seeks to offer high quality, individualized attention to each client and are firmly committed to each person’s privacy and confidentiality.  We can’t meet those goals being in-network with insurance companies.  {Plus, we went into this field to help people, NOT help insurance companies and their investors make money.}

Lol, that’s a short question with a long answer! (Read about it here.) In short, Dr. Maritnez initially accepted insurance when she started Envision Wellness.  But as her practice grew, she spent increasing hours on the phone trying to get payment from the insurance companies, had to justify her treatment decisions to insurance representatives who weren’t clinical professionals, and disclose clients’ confidential information to be reimbursed for her work.  It was a mess and it didn’t sit well with her. She realized working for insurance companies restricted her ability to provide the best quality of care to people.

It was a difficult decision, but she ultimately chose people’s well being.

Having worked in managed-care (insurance) driven practices before, Dr. Szentpaly and Dr. Martinez-Mesa also share Dr. Martinez’s belief that treatment decisions and confidentiality should remain between the therapist and client, and have continued to follow a private pay model of service.

Absolutely!  Your insurance plan may have out-of-network (OON) coverage.  If it does, you may be able to work with our mental health experts using it.  Trust us – it’s super easy!  Here’s how it works:  

You pay us directly and we provide you with a monthly statement of services (called a superbill).  Then, you submit (e-mail, fax, or snail mail) it to your insurance company if you decide to seek reimbursement through your insurance company’s out-of-network coverage. Your insurance company will process the superbill and will:

  • apply the amount you’ve paid to chip away at your deductible, or
  • reimburse you a percentage if you’ve already met the deductible

Just to be clear, Envision Wellness makes no guarantees that you’ll receive reimbursement (or how much reimbursement) from your insurance company. 

You have 2 options.  

#1 You can schedule a free 15-minute Clarity Consult by phone with us, and we’ll do it for you. Make sure you have your insurance card available during your consult call. (Unless, you have UnitedHealthcare. See option #2. Sorry, it’s them, not us. :/ )

#2 You can DIY. Call the customer service phone number on the back of your insurance card so you can ask questions about your coverage and make an informed decision before getting started with counseling.  Here are some helpful questions to ask the representative:

  1. Do I have out-of-network mental health benefits?
  2. If they say yes, ask: What is my out-of-network deductible?
  3. Then ask: Is this deductible combined with my in-network deductible, or is it separate?
  4. Then ask: How much of this deductible has been met to date?
  5. Then ask: Are out-of-network services by a licensed clinical psychologist covered? 
  6. If I have out-of-network benefits, do I have to select a mental health provider from a list or can I choose any provider?
  7. What is my co-insurance for out-of-network care once my deductible has been met? (This is usually a percentage.)
  8. What is my out-of-pocket maximum? How much of it has been met to date? 
  9. Is any pre-approval required under any circumstances before obtaining out-of-network mental health services to be reimbursed?
  10. Will I be reimbursed the % on the full amount I paid or only a portion of the amount (i.e. allowable amount or reasonable and customary fee)? 
  11. For psychotherapy, ask: Do you cover procedural codes 90834 (45-min session) and/or 90837 (60-min session)? (If the rep says yes, ask, “What is the reasonable and customary fee for 90834 (or 90837) in my area?”)
  12. For psychotherapy, ask: Is online therapy by a licensed psychologist covered?
  13. For psychological testing, ask: Do you cover procedural codes 96130 and/or 96132? (If the rep says yes, ask, “What is the reasonable and customary fee for 96130 (or 96132) in my area?”)
  14. What is the process for seeking reimbursement for out-of-network claims? Do I have to fill out a special form? Do I mail, email, fax, or submit my documents through an online portal?
  15. How long do I have to submit out-of-network claims?

Still have a question we didn’t answer?

Ready to experience how therapy can help you?

Click below if you’d like to speak with us about how counseling can improve your relationships, recover your motivation, and experience relief from anxiety and sadness.

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