Why do some therapists accept insurance referrals while others do not?
Some insurers only accept counsellors with a certain type of license or they only cover certain types of therapy. This means therapists offering other types of counselling and psychotherapy are not eligible to register with them. While in-network therapists tend to be more affordable, looking for one can be a long and arduous process depending on your insurance type and where you live. In Germany, those who have public insurances, such as TK or AOK, can get their therapy covered in full, but then they have to find specifically a “psychological psychotherapist” (psychologischer Psychotherapeut) with a so-called Approbation and a Kassensitz. These therapists often have 3 to 6 month waiting list and you won’t have a lot of choice in regards to type of therapy (psychodynamic psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and behavioural therapy are the only modalities that are paid for by the public health insurance in Germany).
That’s why seeing an out-of-network or private pay therapist can be a way to avoid many common insurance headaches and get started with your therapy faster. Other benefits of self-payment compared to getting therapy covered by health insurance is anonymity (no documentation of personal data and diagnoses are given to official administrations), less bureaucracy (in that you don’t have to struggle with a lot of paperwork and bureaucratic processes with the public health insurance provider), and of course completely free choice of not just the therapeutic method, but also the duration, location, language, etc.