Good Faith Estimate: You Have A Right to Know Your Mental Health Costs

Good Faith Estimate

Good Faith Estimate

As a client, you have the right to know what your mental health costs are going to be before you pay for them out of pocket. In fact, legislation protects you from surprise medical bills. For example, therapists will provide you with a Good Faith Estimate to help you clearly understand what therapy is going to cost before you begin services. This assists you in making smart decisions about your finances as well as your mental health.

What Is A Good Faith Estimate?

The Good Faith Estimate is a provision of the No Surprises Act. The No Surprises Act, a federal bill passed in December 2020, aims to protect people from unexpected medical bills. It applies to many different aspects of healthcare. Nobody wants to get the treatment that they need only to later get an exorbitant bill that they weren’t anticipating.

The Good Faith Estimate is a requirement that healthcare providers give you an estimated cost of all services when you begin working with them. This rule went into effect on January 1, 2022. Therefore, if you pay for therapy out of pocket (either because you don’t have insurance or because you opt not to use it), then your therapist should provide you with this type of estimate.

We Believe Your Care Is Important

Of course, our associates comply with the Good Faith Estimate because it’s the law. However, we also believe in supporting you holistically. We believe that your mental health care is a critical part of your overall wellness. We also understand that financial challenges can be stressors.

The Good Faith Estimate helps you understand in advance what your therapy services will cost. Therefore, you can plan accordingly. Since there aren’t any surprises, you’re able to budget and meet the costs of therapy so that you can get the care you need without as much stress.

What Is Included in a Good Faith Estimate?

Basically, a Good Faith Estimate is an honest, accurate, transparent written estimate of what you are expected to pay for the services rendered by your therapist. It includes the cost of all regularly scheduled appointments.

The Good Faith Estimate might also include additional fees planned in advance such as:

  • Paperwork request fees
  • Consultation fees with client’s contacts
  • Legal and administrative fees

Note that the Good Faith Estimate DOES NOT include costs for emergency services and unscheduled costs such as fees for being a no-show at an appointment, late cancellation fees, or added costs for crisis care.

Therapists typically provide Good Faith Estimates for an extended period of time from the time that you make your first appointment. For example, they might project out 6 or even 12 months with this estimate. This helps you to plan your therapy costs accordingly for the months to come.

Remember that this is an estimate. Therapists do their best to make it as accurate as possible. However, things do change over time. If you ever have questions about your costs, don’t hesitate to ask your therapist.

Also, note that this isn’t a contract. In other words, receiving a Good Faith Estimate doesn’t mean that either you or the therapist agree to work together. It’s an estimate of the costs should you decide to move forward with a working relationship.

Example of Good Faith Estimate

Would you like to see a sample of what a Good Faith Estimate might look like? Here’s a sample form. Note that your form might look slightly different than this. However, it will likely include much of the same information. As you can see, some of the things you might see on the form include:

  • Your therapist’s name and contact information
  • Additional contact information for any agency they work with
  • Your name and identifying information
  • A description of what the Good Faith Estimate is
  • The cost for one session, along with the duration of that session (for example, $x amount for a 50-minute session)
  • An estimate of the cost for different time periods, such as weekly sessions for three months or twelve months

What Are Your Rights?

Here are some of the Good Faith Estimate rights that you have as a client:

  • Most importantly, you have the right to receive an accurate estimate of what your non-emergency therapy services are going to cost before you obtain those services.
  • Moreover, you have the right to receive this in writing at least 1 day before your first scheduled appointment. As a new client, if you make an appointment more than ten days in advance of your first session, you have the right to receive your Good Faith Estimate within three days of the date when you scheduled that appointment (the date when you made the appointment, rather than the date of the actual appointment.)
  • You have the right to request a Good Faith Estimate before you even schedule an appointment.
  • If you receive superbills from your therapist, you still have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate.
  • If you receive a bill that costs $400+ higher than your Good Faith Estimate said, you are allowed to dispute that bill.

Get a Good Faith Estimate for Services

Are you ready to start therapy? You can learn more about our services here. You can find a therapist in our therapist directory. Then you will work directly with your therapist to determine how they can best help you. Before you begin working with them, review the Good Faith Estimate that they provide. Make sure to ask any questions that you have. We are here to help.

One thought on “Good Faith Estimate: You Have A Right to Know Your Mental Health Costs”

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