Using insurance to pay for healthcare can be challenging and confusing. Below are some important things to consider as you begin working with a mental health counselor.

Many insurance companies distinguish between in-network and out-of-network providers. You are likely to pay more out-of-pocket costs for out-of-network providers. It’s always a good idea to check with your insurance company to verify your mental healthcare provider’s network status.

A co-payment is a charge that your insurance company requires you to pay out-of-pocket for a specific service. For example, you may have a $20 copay for each office visit.

A deductible is the amount that you must pay out-of-pocket before your health insurance makes any payments. Depending on your deductible, for example, you may have to pay $500 or even $5,000 out-of-pocket before your insurance company will begin making payments on claims.

Before starting mental health services, check with your insurance company to verify your provider’s network status, your co-payments, and your deductible. While mental healthcare providers will attempt to verify your insurance benefits, ultimate responsibility lies with the consumer.