The length and frequency will depend on your individual needs and circumstances and should be negotiated with your counselor. Usually one-hour sessions are scheduled, which will include 50 minutes of actual counselor-client time and allow for 10 minutes of counselor preparation and charting. Any additional time that may be needed or requested will be charged according to the counselor’s hourly rate and assessed prior to or after your session.
Many insurance companies, including Blue Cross, will pay some percentage of the counseling services rendered by most of our counselors, but we do not participate in managed health care networks and do not file insurance claims for our clients. If you would like to file for insurance reimbursement, ask our secretary or your insurance company to provide you with a Insurance Claim Form. After you have filled out your portion, return it to us, and we will fill out our portion and return it to you as soon as possible. Determining insurance eligibility, benefits, and filing claims will be your responsibility. Before electing to use your insurance we strongly recommend that you consider the following:
- Insurance companies will sometimes not cover for marriage counseling, family counseling or typical problems that most people face during life, commonly referred to in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental and Nervous Disorders (DSM-5), as “V-Codes.”
- Most insurance companies require that there be a mental or nervous disorder present in the primary client receiving counseling, the determination of which will involve a mental health assessment and diagnosis from the DSM-5. Should a mental or nervous disorder be present and be diagnosed by our counseling staff, it will have to be recorded in your chart and on your insurance claim form.
- You should also be advised that while strict confidentiality standards are maintained by BCS, life and health insurance companies, the military, the legal system, and employers have been known to try to access and are at times entitled to your records. The truth is that filing an insurance claim may in some cases make it easier for such entities to gain access to your records.
- Most insurance plans typically require you to meet a deductible before coverage begins and will typically cover only 50% to 80% of what they consider “reasonable and customary charges” (not necessarily our fee per session) for a limited number of visits per year. In the case of providers like us being out of network, this amount can be as low as 40%. You can determine eligibility and these amounts by contacting your insurance company. Please note that we will submit only actual charges equal to the fee you are paying for each session.
BCS is not an approved provider for Medicare or Medicaid, so unfortunately clients cannot use these benefits to pay for our services.
There are many important factors to consider when choosing a counselor. These include the counselor’s areas of expertise, level of experience, gender, availability, schedule, and fee, along with recommendations received from others and your personal preferences. Before making your selection, we highly recommend, in addition to reading through the counselor bios, that you call our office and speak to one of our secretaries or office manager who know all of our counselors very well and let them help you to determine which one might be able to best meet your needs.
Your identity as a client of BCS and all of your records here will be kept strictly confidential and will only be shared with your written permission. However, please be aware that some exceptions to this rule may apply in cases of child abuse, suicidal or homicidal intent, and other extreme cases. For a detailed description of both the scope and limitation of confidentiality, privacy and privileged communication in counseling, please ask your counselor for additional information.
Fees are payable at the time of each visit. Please have a check, credit card, or exact cash available. We accept Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Discover credit cards. Regarding cancellations: you are asked to give 24-hour notice in the event that you are unable to keep your appointment. If you fail to notify us by 3:00 PM on the day prior to your appointment, you will be charged your full fee.
We are not an agency who primarily offers low cost counseling services, nor is it our mission to serve the poor and indigent. However, we do want to be able to provide counseling fee discounts to our clients going through special or difficult circumstances, as resources allow. In order to qualify for a counseling fee discount, the following criteria must be met, and process followed:
- The person (or family) seeking a discount must be a current client of BCS, having been seen by one of our counselors at least two times at the regular counseling fee.
- There must be a sincere and significant financial need, and no other available financial resources to pay for counseling, such as insurance, family, friends or church.
- The client must ask for financial assistance.
- The client must fully complete the required application form and provide all of the requested information, which includes a copy of the last year’s tax return and most recent pay stub of all significant income earners living in their home and turn in to the secretary or their counselor.
- The client must be able to clearly identify the problem they want help with and their goals for counseling.
- The client must be highly motivated to work toward their goals and demonstrate compliance with their treatment plan.
- The counselor must believe that he or she can help the client, want to work with the client, and be able and willing to offer the discount.
- BCS must have the financial resources available to help.
- Discount applications are reviewed bi-monthly and decisions rendered within two weeks, after which the counselor will be informed and notify their client.
- If a counseling fee discount is approved, the discount rate will go into effect from that point forward and be honored for up to 8 sessions per calendar year, per client or couple.
- The client’s counselor may in some cases, at his or her discretion, offer additional or greater discounts than that approved and for more than 8 sessions, but will not be reimbursed by BCS for this amount. In such cases, this is a matter to be discussed and decided between client and counselor, not with the secretaries.
Several of our counselors periodically conduct small groups and retreats on a variety of topics. Information about such events can be found under our “Seminars” tab within this website and by asking your counselor or one of our secretaries.