In the shadow of the valley.
September 10, 2012 7:08 PM Subscribe
Major depressive episodes and individual (USA) insurance repercussions. Should I let my psychologist submit this?
California, USA. I've just been to see a new psychologist for a first visit today. My initial impressions are quite positive; I could see myself developing a very fruitful and trusting relationship with him over time.
At the end of the session, he offered a diagnosis of mild clinical depression. He asked my psychiatrist to revisit my existing citalopram prescription (from 10mg) and said that he wished to see me twice a week on an open-ended basis. He doesn't see me as having a lifelong (chronic) depression problem, but it is presently very significant and he wants to get me stable in order to achieve longer-term health.
Because my insurance only covers 20 visits a year for outpatient therapy, he asked if he could submit a diagnosis of a Major Depressive Episode in order to qualify me for unlimited sessions under the Mental Health Parity Act. He said it was ultimately up to me if I wanted to pay out-of-pocket after the 20 sessions if I didn't want that on my record.
At the moment, I'm covered under an HMO, but my company isn't doing well, and I can conceive of a future date where I might have to pay for individual insurance. Shall I allow him to process that diagnosis (thus gaining access to more therapy for free), or pay out-of-pocket and keep my record clean for the future?
(I don't know how my psychiatrist classified our prior sessions to my insurance company, but I went in with a panic/anxiety disorder two years ago and I've been on my citalopram regimen ever since. I have nothing else on my record.)