Denied for independent health insurance because of lots of therapy?
March 22, 2012 8:59 AM   Subscribe

I want to go to a therapist and submit the bills to my student insurance, but what if I need to get independent health insurance later? (I.e., what if I start my own business or something?) I'm in the USA--Pennsylvania, New York, Wisconsin, and Illinois, most likely.

Will having tons of therapy bills make it harder to get accepted for insurance that's not through an employer? How do I get a better sense for weighing the risks?
posted by zeek321 to Work & Money (5 answers total)
When do you graduate? In January 2014, the health reform law fully kicks in and it will outlaw insurance companies from declining to cover you or refusing to cover pre-existing conditions. If you're graduating this spring and don't have a job (with insurance) lined up, I might hold off on therapy; if you're graduating next spring (May 2013) I would be less worried and if you're graduating later than that I wouldn't worry at all.

Also, another piece of the health reform law that has already kicked in will allow you to remain or go back on your parent's health insurance (if they have insurance through a job) through age 26. Not sure how old you are or whether your parents have insurance, but that's another factor to consider as a way to bridge coverage and avoid the individual market until January 2014.
posted by iminurmefi at 9:06 AM on March 22, 2012 [3 favorites]

It probably depends on why you want to go to therapy.
If you are looking for assistance with low-level depression or anxiety, or are looking for a therapist to help you work through some major (or minor) life events, insurance probably wouldn't care as much. So many people see therapists for these things now that it's no big deal - especially if you don't end up with a referral to a psychiatrist for meds, but still even if you do.

If you are talking about a major disorder that is predictive of long-term medical and/or psychological care needs, and can be significantly disruptive to your life? Maybe a bigger deal.
posted by trivia genius at 11:17 AM on March 22, 2012

Just to follow up - the insurance companies don't have access to your therapist's notes, but the therapist does have to include a diagnosis code or summary when submitting to insurance - so that's how they know whether it's anxiety, an acute life problem that gets resolved, or omg extreme borderline personality.
posted by trivia genius at 11:20 AM on March 22, 2012

Very helpful for getting a start on what variables to think about! Still watching this thread.
posted by zeek321 at 11:49 AM on March 22, 2012

Depends on where you are in school and what type of student you are, but your school may have free or low-cost counseling available, negating this pesky insurance problem.
posted by radioamy at 6:29 PM on March 22, 2012

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