Being in the people helping business is one of the most interesting
tightropes I have ever walked. On the one hand, I want to help people.

On the other hand, I want to pay my bills. I have a bias
towards the actual field of counseling. Not all counseling is done by
counselors. Some is done by Social Workers and some by Psychologist, while
others yet is done by people with a different license and label. They all have unique abilities and benefits. For myself, I have a bias toward the process of counseling.

If I lived in Texas, this wouldn’t be a problem. In the
state of Michigan it can be a bit of a problem. The State of Michigan has
chosen to set up it’s insurance regulations to favor those with a  social
work or psychology license.

That’s fine and well.

It is certainly their prerogative and no one made me pick
the counseling license.

But as I’ve already written, I have a bias toward the
counseling system.

This brings me to the point of this post. The majority of my
business is fee for services counseling.

That is to say that most clients pay me a nominal fee for
each session. This has a lot of perks for them that I am going to get into in
my next post on my company blog at
but today I want to address the number one question I get when people realize
they can’t use their insurance.

They invariably ask why I don’t “take” their insurance.
The conversation often goes like this:

Them: I have Blue Cross or Priority Health, do you take

Me: No

Them: Why not?

The truth is, I would love to take those insurances.

But they don’t take me. For whatever reason, they have
decided they don’t like my license and because for them it is about making
money and not doing what’s in the best interest of their consumer they refuse
to budge.

I have 48 credit hours of classes at the Masters Level in
the art, science and skills of counseling.

I have almost 55 credit hours at the doctorate level for

Many of the licenses that these insurance companies do take
have less than a quarter of those totals. Some have taken courses in grant
writing as a required part of their program.

A necessary and vital tool no doubt but how is that going to
help you in the counseling session?  

 This isn’t about skill or aptitude. It’s about money
for the insurance companies plain and simple.  
I often tell my billing person to remember the insurance person’s goal is not
to accept our claim but to adjust it.
I once had a claim denied because I signed where it was written, “signature
required.” The claim was denied because they actually wanted me to write my
name out.
Call the insurance company; you get one person who tells you to do one thing.
Then you do it.

And no results occur.

Call back; get someone else who tells you, “Well, I don’t
know why that person told you that, they shouldn’t have…”

I have high hopes that this will change. Someday, licenses
will be accepted on their merit not on who was around to write the rules fifty
years ago. License reciprocity will be a reality not a dream.

Until then, you need to remember that we are not powerless.
You have choices. You can call your insurance provider and complain. You don’t
have to give them your money every month for less and less coverage.

You don’t have to take whatever they give out, even if it
isn’t something you don’t want.

Let them know how much you like or don’t like their

You can also choose to pay in a fee for services
situation.  For many people, this is a
viable option with a lot of benefits that I will explore on Thursday at the CSC



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