General Question

Facade's avatar

Can you offer help concerning the costs of psychiatric care?

Asked by Facade (22884points) April 15th, 2011

So the way my insurance is set up, I (or we– my family) have used up all but $100 of the amount of care insurance will fully cover. After the rest is used up, I will be responsible for all my medical charges. I’ve been calling around all morning, and the costs are ranging from $120–275 per visit. I’m not working right now, and have virtually no income, so I can’t afford that. Also, the wait times are 2 and 3 months.

I really need to see someone as soon as possible. I was thinking that I could just go to a general physician and see if I can get a prescription since I know which medication(s) I would like to try.

Do any of you have any other suggestions?

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20 Answers

Judi's avatar

So sorry. I hate insurance companies! My son’s situation was quite desperate. I don’t know what state you’re in, but if you are young enough you may be eligable for medicaid.
If it is just the medication that ois the problem, you can contact the pharmacudical company and they can enroll you in their free or low cost perscription program.
If your insurance company still covers the GP, maybe he can consult with your psychiatrist and write the pewrscription for you.
My son had to go to the county hospital emergency room every time he needeed a refill, which screwed up his credit. The system just sucks. Can anyone say universal health care?

gailcalled's avatar

Are you near a teaching hospital or University Med. school. Often, they have much lower rates for psychiatrists-in-training. Under supervision, they work with patients.

Facade's avatar

@Judi I don’t have a shrink yet, that’s what I’m trying to do now. My plan was to start therapy and a medication regimen. I’ve already spoken to my insurance company. That’s how I know I have $100 left. So both medication and therapy will be the issue, and if I have to, I’ll settle for just a prescription and monitor myself.
@gailcalled I’m in Trenton, NJ. There’s Robert Wood-Johnson hospital and also Princeton University nearby… How would I find out about shrinks-in-training?

math_nerd's avatar

@Facade :: You pick up the telephone and call. It is really simple. I had a appointment to get some dental work done at OHSU after a few minutes on the phone.

Facade's avatar

@math_nerd You mean to see about the shrinks-in-training?

gailcalled's avatar

Here is the info for Princeton Medical Center. Call them and ask.

I am not sure about Rob Wood Johnson but I would call the switchboard also.

wundayatta's avatar

Tell them up front about your financial situation. Many times the medical professional will work with you at a lower cost.

Judi's avatar

It was a nightmare for my son. He was to old to be on my insurance, to old for medicaid, but didn’t have a job or money. The state had an MIA program (Medically Indigent Adult) but you had to have your act together enough to re apply every month. We finally got him on disability, but that had its own set of injustices.
I hope you find a solution that preserves your dignity and gets you treatment at the same time.

Facade's avatar

Thanks @gailcalled
I called the Princeton center. No one answered, so I’ll call later. Should I tell the person who answers the phone of my financial situation or just the therapist?
@wundayatta I actually have said that to the three offices I’ve spoken with today. None of them seemed care. Apparantly if you’re broke and need help it’s too bad.
@Judi Thanks, I hope so too

math_nerd's avatar

@Facade :: Call the switchboard, they can transfer you to correct department. Then tell them what you told us. If they can’t help they probably can give you the number of people that can. And tell everyone you can about your finances. You aren’t the only person that is calling and looking for the same type of help.

And look into if there are any community clinics around. I have one a few blocks away where you can see the doctor for 20 bucks.

Facade's avatar

@math_nerd Well I called another of the Princeton locations and none of them do individual therapy. But the lady gave me names and numbers of facilities that offer individual therapy and work on a “sliding scale” for payment, so that’s a step in the right direction. she also confirmed that GPs can prescribe psychiatric meds and agreed that I could go that route in the interim. So I’m going to call them and see if I can get an appointment at an affordable rate. Another issues now is that I don’t know how long I’ll be living in this area. That’s all dependent upon my boyfriend’s job. We could very well be somewhere else in three months…

nikipedia's avatar

Health and Human Services lists federally funded health care providers For people with low or no income here.

You can attend support groups through the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance for free.

Good luck, and hang in there. Remember, it gets better.

Facade's avatar

OK, so I called one of the places the lady with Princeton suggested, and I got on the waiting list which only has a couple week’s wait. And I told the lady about my finances. She took my insurance info so I hope that doesn’t conflict with my needing the sliding scale thing. Either way, this is about as much of a success as it’s going to get. Thank you ALL for your help!

math_nerd's avatar

Congrats. I hope you feel better soon.

janbb's avatar

I have a friend who only pays $5 per session because of his financial situation. Seems like you will be able to negotiate payment on a sliding scale. Hope you get the help you need.

Jude's avatar

All great suggestions here. Good luck, @Facade. And, good for you for seeking help.

Facade's avatar

@math_nerd @jude Thanks guys =)
@janbb $5?? Wow, that’d be amazing

Kardamom's avatar

Here is one suggestion that is kind of risky, but worth suggesting to you. Does your boyfriend have insurance with his job? If so, getting married immediately is a possible solution. I know it is not ideal, but would he be willing to do this for you? If it doesn’t work out, there is always divorce down the line. But that is true in any case of marriage, so why not use it for a legitimate reason?

Facade's avatar

I don’t think I’d need to do that, but I’ll definitely run it by him to see what he thinks.

anartist's avatar

Try a university with a med school program including a psychiatric program. You may find very cheap therapy either group or private.
Your only other resource is the state/city/and in some cases [for instance a white patient in a majority black city] you may get free or cheap therapy but the perceived difference in life perspective between therapist and patient may be too much for transference to be achieved and therapy to be effective.

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