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Private Pay vs. Insurance - Five Reasons It Really Matters

By: Emily Pardy, LMFT, PMH-C

“Do you take Insurance?” We get this question more than any other question from people asking about our counseling services. And, I don’t blame them one bit! As a mom of four, it’s frustrating to see the price of a gallon of milk sky rocket, how are we supposed to put our mental health first when the cost is so high? It’s hard enough to carve out the time and energy to set aside an hour for ourselves, too many of us wait for our problems to get so overwhelming we’re out of other options.

At Ready Nest Counseling, we never want you to think of counseling as the “last resort”, which is why we work hard to create custom care plans that can work with any budget. When you’re choosing a counseling practice, don’t let the financial cost be the defining factor that narrows down your search. Here are a few reasons it truly matters when considering private practices versus using your insurance for therapy:

1. Increased Confidentiality and Privacy

When it comes to discussing personal matters, privacy is paramount. Private pay therapy ensures that your sessions remain confidential without involving third-party entities like insurance companies, your medical providers, or your employer. While insurance providers require certain information to process claims, private pay allows you to maintain control over the flow of sensitive information. This heightened level of confidentiality creates a safe space for you to explore your thoughts and feelings without concerns about the potential impact on your privacy.

In a therapeutic setting, the assurance of confidentiality is a cornerstone for building trust between the therapist and the client. At Ready Nest Counseling, we want our clients to feel completely open with their counselor so they can foster a deep and more authentic therapeutic relationship. This level of trust is often instrumental in achieving meaningful breakthroughs and lasting positive change.

2. Flexible and Client-Centered Treatment

Insurance often puts limits on how many sessions you get or what kind of help you can receive, they can even dictate how long your sessions are. Private pay therapy offers flexibility and can even be customized to your needs if you require some creative or out-of-the-box accommodations. I’ve seen clients virtually from their hospital beds on bedrest, their cars during daycare pick-up lines, or even in between meetings from their office. Individuals need that level of spontaneity that shouldn’t be decided by red tape. Private pay therapy allows for a more client-centered approach, focusing on the client's unique needs and goals rather than adhering to predetermined guidelines.

This flexibility extends to the duration and frequency of sessions. At Ready Nest Counseling, we customize our treatment plans to take into consideration all of your resources. For instance, some of our postpartum clients attend our weekly New Mom Support Group for free, and then see their individual counselor every two or three weeks. This allows them to make progress while benefitting from community engagement (and build that mom squad!)

We love for our clients to have the option to schedule more frequent or extended sessions, accommodating their specific requirements. Some of our couples have booked double-sessions to schedule around travel, or requested an Intensive on the weekend so they could find childcare. This tailored approach can be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with complex issues or those seeking greater support during challenging periods in their lives.

3. No Unnecessary Diagnostic Labeling

Insurance companies typically require therapists to assign a diagnosis to clients in order to approve and process claims. At Ready Nest Counseling, we treat several couples with communication difficulties, or moms who need to process returning to work - that is to say, not all of life’s changes demand a diagnosis. We never want to put a label on someone that doesn’t meet the criteria for that diagnosis. Not only is that unfair to the individual who is seeking care, but it is unethical in practice. Private pay eliminates this requirement, allowing clients to receive the support they need without the burden of a diagnostic label.

4. Cost Reducing Options

Private Pay does not necessarily mean you have to pay more. At Ready Nest, we intentionally customize our care plans to ensure that therapy is accessible to all.

  • If you would like to utilize the benefits of your insurance, there's a high chance that your policy will reimburse the cost of your sessions by accepting a “Superbill” which is a receipt of your invoices for all sessions with us. Our specialization in perinatal mental healthcare sets us apart from the providers that are in network but not specialized to treat this population, and we have found consistent success for our clients as we support them in providing these superbills.

  • We also accept HSA and FSA cards, which can be run just like credit cards for your convenience.

  • If you’re still looking to save, just let us know. Between our free groups, online resources, and the reduced rates that our counselors are able to offer at their various levels of experience and licensure. Our custom care plans often allow for session rates competitive with your own insurance policy co-pay.

Another vital consideration is the quality of care that you’re receiving. To be honest, when potential clients decide to use their insurance for needs that truly deserve the specialization of training unique to their journey, we almost always see them circle back to us. I wish that high quality care was part of our healthcare benefits system, but unfortunately that is not typically the case.

  • Clinicians that accept insurance are not being paid nearly enough for those sessions. (We’re talking pennies on the dollar...) The majority of clinicians working with insurance are overworked and burned out on the giant caseload they have to manage. This is not a great place to start from when you’re in crisis or needing comfort.

  • The quality of your time spent in session at Ready Nest Counseling is going to go miles further than the dozens of sessions you might afford at a place that is not as specifically suited for your treatment. Our goal is to get you healthy as soon as possible, not to drag you out week to week for as long as your insurance will pay!

5. Investment in Your Well-Being:

Choosing private pay therapy is ultimately an investment in your own well-being. While it is a financial commitment up front, the benefits derived from a more personalized, confidential, and flexible therapeutic experience are invaluable. We’re here to help you develop skills and coping tools that will last forever. Private pay therapy places the emphasis squarely on the client's needs and goals, cultivating an environment conducive to profound personal growth and self-discovery.

At Ready Nest Counseling, the therapeutic relationship becomes a partnership in the client's journey toward healing and self-improvement. The absence of external constraints allows for a more authentic and collaborative exploration of the client's concerns, leading to a more profound and sustainable transformation.

When considering private pay vs insurance, it isn't just about the money. It's about putting yourself first and getting the kind of support that suits you and your unique needs. As you navigate the world of choosing a therapist, don’t just take the financial cost into consideration, think about the cost of your time, energy, resources, and the customized care you truly deserve. Your mental well-being is absolutely worth it.


If you find yourself in need of professional help, don't hesitate to reach out to us and schedule a session. Our dedicated team at Ready Nest Counseling is here to help you navigate life's challenges and transitions with care and compassion. Whether you're experiencing difficulties related to conception, pregnancy, postpartum, infertility, loss, parenting, or relationships our therapists are ready to support you. We offer both in-person and virtual therapy. Schedule a therapy session with us today and take the first step towards a healthier you. Ready Nest Counseling also offers support groups for new moms and those who have experienced pregnancy loss. Remember, you don't have to face it alone – we're here for you.



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