How can I afford Christian Counseling?

So you realize you need counseling.  If you’re a Christian in Oklahoma or Texas maybe you came to visit me.  That’s great!  Inevitably you’re going to wonder what the rates are.  Many look at my rates (or really any counselor’s rates) and wonder “how can I afford this?” Well don’t worry.  There’s a super hero here to save the day!

Toy Superman flying

It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  It’s Superbill?!?!

If you’re heard of this term before then kudos to you because I hadn’t until recently.  Through this post I hope to give you some information on how out-of-network billing works and what role the superbill plays in this. Most of us think of insurance being only used with in-network providers.  While this depends on the type of insurance you have, these are providers that have a contract with your insurance company. As a patient you typically owe a co-payment, coinsurance or deductible payment.  This payment may either be due at the time of service or after billing has been done.  Your provider then awaits payment from your insurance company after the claim is accepted. 

I have decided to not do in-network billing with insurance companies.  There are several reasons for this.  One, the process to get on an insurance panel is about as fun as watching paint dry.  It is a very long and frustrating process.  Two, once you get on the panel the process of billing is frustrating.  It is added work on my end which decreases the amount of time I have to see patients.  Also, I might submit a claim only to see it be denied.  If it is denied then the patient is due the whole amount.  This is now frustrating for both me as the provider and you as the patient.  Lastly, in network insurance has a lot of confidential information on you.  There is pressure on providers to make your diagnosis more extreme in order for your claim to be accepted.  This is a snapshot into why I am not getting on any insurance panels. 

Money on fire

You might be asking then, “How on earth can I afford this?”  Enter our hero, the superbill.  Here is a link to a goodrx article about our buddy superbill.  Essentially a superbill is a detailed receipt.  This detailed receipt includes the provider information, your diagnosis, what services were provided, the costs of these services, etc.  I will provide this superbill to you through your portal page and you will be able to submit this to your insurance company for out-of-network coverage. 

Now, as much as I love our friend superbill, this process requires some work on your part.  Before you start therapy I would encourage you to reach out to your insurance company. Ask them what out of network benefits you qualify for. Ask them what specifically they need in order for you to receive reimbursement.  Ask them about how long it should take to receive reimbursement.  Here is another article to help you with that process.

It’s impossible for me to tell you how much your insurance will reimburse you without knowing the specifics of your benefits.  Please feel free to contact me via your portal, email or call/text should you have more questions along the way.  Definitely let me know if your insurance needs something else on the superbill.  I want you to get as much back as possible. 


Regardless of what reimbursement you receive, all payment is due upfront.  This is the opposite of the traditional way.  Typically your co-payment is due and then you’ll pay the rest after billing.  This way you pay all up front and then will be reimbursed from the insurance company later.  I will not receive any payment from the insurance company.  This blog post is for you to help decrease the cost of therapy for you.

Now, maybe you don’t want to do out of network benefits.  There are still some options to pay for counseling or any other health benefits.  There are two fantastic options available at almost every job: the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA). Both of these options function similarly but there are important differences. 


Let’s start with the FSA.  This Investopedia article can help provide you some more information on the FSA. The FSA is deducted through your paycheck to help pay for health related expenses.  This is a truly flexible account as the name implies.  You can spend these funds for almost anything.  There is a great website (fsastore.com) that you can both buy items from but also see what types of items you can buy.  Ask your FSA provider should you have any questions.  The beauty of the FSA is this deduction from your paycheck gets taken off your taxes!  If you’re anything like me then you probably would rather spend your hard earned money instead of the government.  The FSA limit for 2022 is $2850.  This amount changes every year to keep with inflation.  So you may be tempted to take out all of the money due to the tax benefits.  While this isn’t necessarily a bad idea, know that this money has to be spent each year.  It is a “use it or lose it” type of benefit.  When you sign up for benefits take some time to estimate how much health benefits you need and make sure you use it by year’s end.  You have a little bit of wiggle room at the beginning of the next year to spend your leftover money.  Check with your FSA provider for more information. 

Now, the Health Savings Account (HSA) is very similar to the FSA.  Here is another Investopedia article about the HSA. The money you put into a HSA is tax free. You also get to keep the money in your HSA for as long as you want.  That’s right, no “use it or lose it” on the HSA!  You can also invest money in your HSA depending on what provider you have it with.  The main con to a HSA is you have to have a “high deductible health plan.” What our friends at the IRS describes as a “high deductible health plan” changes each year again to track inflation.  Make sure to ask your provider and/or workplace if you are eligible for a HSA.  

Coin money plant

If you have a FSA or HSA and want reimbursement you are able to do this a couple of ways.  You can use the debit card they provide to take this out of your account.  You are also eligible to be reimbursed if you provide them individually with a superbill.  

I hope this article has given you some context of ways you can pay for counseling services.  Counseling is a worthwhile investment.  Most of the time we can use cost as a reason to not do something we really need.  However, if you contact me and after exploring everything you absolutely cannot afford services I will try to connect you with another provider that accepts your insurance.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions. 


Truth and Grace,

Johnny Sanders, LPC in Oklahoma and Texas