Breaking Expectations is staff writer Danielle Allsop’s firsthand experience living with mental illness.
As a twenty-four year old college senior, and the daughter of parents who raised me to be self-sufficient since I was fifteen, I am too proud to ask for help, but having a mental illness is expensive, even with insurance.
During a discussion with a group of friends about health insurance, they erupted when I told them how much I pay for my doctor’s visits, therapy sessions, and prescription medications, with insurance.
I often ask myself, why have insurance if it’s not going to cover anything?
Though I am still covered under my parents’ health insurance plan, my high deductible and co-pay makes it almost impossible to get anything paid for by my insurance company.
Even after I meet my deductible, which would be quite a feat, I am still required to pay 20 percent out of pocket.
From my years of experience, I’ve found therapy sessions range from $90 to $150 per hour. Most therapists have an insurance company they partner with, so many won’t cover the fee.
If I’m going through a particularly rough time, going to these sessions once a week isn’t uncommon. That’s $360-$600 per month.
Psychiatrists, who monitor and prescribe my prescriptions, charge $90 to $110 for a half hour session. Again, most partner with specific insurance companies as to encourage patients to enroll in their policies.
However, if you’re not enrolled in any of these insurance policies, nothing gets “covered.” That’s $360-$440 per month if I’m going once a week.
Prescriptions are the least of my monetary concerns, ranging from $5 to $10, depending on the brand and the quantity. However, these numbers may vary from one person to the next.
Though I submit all receipts to my insurance company, meeting my deductible is unlikely.
So for those who think mental illnesses aren’t real, or are just looking for attention, I hope this changes your mind. No one consciously chooses to spend hundreds of dollars per month on their health.