Mental Health Evaluation Cost: How can I Save Money?
Mental health refers to the state of mind of a person and includes psychological, emotional, and social well-being. While many causes affect mental health, evaluation is crucial.
But how much does the mental health evaluation cost? Averagely, mental health evaluation costs between $1,00 and $2,00 per session. The cost can rise depending on the location, the professional, and the insurance. Since the evaluations can have multiple sessions, the price can go up between $1,000 and 4,000.
Mental evaluation determines your state of mind and helps detect mental illnesses earlier for treatment, preventing disorders. Read on to learn the factors affecting the evaluation cost and how you can save money.
How Much Is a Mental Health Evaluation?
Mental health evaluation may get through a questionnaire or a verbal interview between the certified psychiatrist and the patient. The aim is for the psychiatrist to have an overview of the patient’s state of mind. This helps the psychiatrist determine the best treatment or diagnosis that suits the condition.
The cost of a mental health evaluation can range between $100 and $200 per session. It can be more, especially when you’re a new patient because much more time is needed. Also, the psychiatrist might have to do blood and lab tests for the initial evaluation.
At Oc Psychology center in California, the cost is between $500 - $4,000 per evaluation. However, mental health evaluation costs also depend on other things, including the health facility, professionals, and insurance.
Besides, some professionals, including psychiatrists and psychologists, cost more than licensed professional counselors. Therefore, you should discuss with the professional about the cost before the sessions begin, especially if you lack insurance.
Some insurance also doesn't cover mental health or psychological evaluation. Consult your insurance company for clarification before making an appointment with the professional. Your insurance company may also require pre-authorization before the testing.
Why Is a Mental Health Evaluation Important?
While mental health evaluation can be expensive, you might wonder if mental health evaluation is necessary. The evaluations allow the psychiatrist to detect possibilities of a mental illness through some tests. Late or lack of evaluations can hinder the chances of a full recovery.
Mental health evaluation is necessary if the patient detects symptoms like:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Memory loss
- Unable to take care of basic needs
- When family and relatives express concerns
- Earlier mental health symptoms worsening
While some might turn out to be not much of a health concern, you should take an evaluation soon. The professional will assess the symptoms and point out those concerns if there are any. Also, evaluation allows you to start recovering steps as early as the professional recommends.
What Factors Affect the Mental Health Evaluation Cost?
Mental health evaluation cost is not constant, especially between health facilities and locations. This is almost similar despite the procedures followed and the medications prescribed. To clear out why this happens, the following are some factors that affect the mental health evaluation cost.
- Patients' Mental Condition
The cost can be more if the patient is already very affected, commonly due to late evaluations. Thus, the professional will have to take multiple tests for evaluations to understand the damage. These tests will consume more time and resources, therefore costing more.
The presence of a medical insurance company affects the cost in many ways. Some insurance companies, especially those that cover mental health can cover between 30% to 100% of the fee. With a portion of the cost covered the patient can afford the much lower bill.
Other insurers might require you to pay a deductible before they cover the rest of the cost. Some use a copay or coinsurance plan with which you can determine the cost of the evaluation. Most importantly, consult your insurance company before the assessment for clarity.
In some locations, general health is more expensive than in others. This means the mental health evaluation cost is also high, costing patients more. The following table covers some mental health costs in some locations.
|California||$160 – 225||45 - minutes|
|Georgia||$200 – 250||1 hour|
|Texas||$185 – 200||1 hour|
|New York||$100 – 200||1 hour|
|Chicago||$150 – 200||1 hour|
- Health Facility
The facility where you see the professional also affects the evaluation cost. In most community mental health facilities, the evaluation cost is cheaper. On the other hand, a private practice psychologist is expensive, especially if they visit you at home.
The professional who performs the mental health evaluation can determine the cost. That means, the more experienced they are, the more they're likely to cost you. Similarly, a psychiatrist is more expensive than a psychologist, who is also more expensive than a licensed clinical social worker.
How Can I Save Money?
Mental health evaluation can take more than one session before results. This can be expensive for some patients, especially if they’re paying out of their pockets. The following are some ways you can save money during a mental health evaluation.
- Buy a Mental Health Insurance
Buying mental health insurance is one way you can reduce the evaluation cost. Most insurance companies will cover almost all the fees, which compared to out-of-pocket pay is cheaper. However, most health insurance policies have a waiting period of up to 2 years before covering mental health.
- Take an Online Evaluation Test
If you're unsure about your current state of mind you can do an online evaluation test. The test aims at letting you know beforehand if you require a professional or not. However, sometimes the tests might not be accurate, and if the symptoms persist, visit a professional.
- Visit an Affordable Professional
Depending on your mental health symptoms, you can opt to be evaluated by an affordable professional. Most cheap professionals aren't always very experienced, but they're fit to assess your mental health. However, any professional you consult should have a license in psychological therapy.
- Visit Affordable Facilities
Before deciding on the mental facility to visit or take your loved ones to, check others to compare prices. Most private facilities will likely be more expensive than others. Also, consider visiting facilities that deal with mental health rather than general health.
- Take The Evaluation Early
Visiting the professional during the earliest symptoms can save you money. This is because the mental health evaluation and test are done early using minimum resources. Also, the chances of recovery are high, saving you more money that you could have used in the long run.
Mental health is crucial to everyone, regardless of age. It affects how a person thinks, acts, handles stress, and associates with others. So, with too many possible causes of mental illness, evaluation is necessary as soon as possible.
The cost of mental health evaluation depends on various things, including the location and the professional.
However, with a working insurance cover, you can reduce the cost considerably by paying only a portion. Besides, there are various ways you can save money during the evaluation and still receive the help you need.