How much do therapists charge in 2022?

Katherine Ellison
Katherine Ellison
Share

According to data gathered by Mental Health America (MHA), the prevalence of mental illnesses and suicidal ideation has been steadily increasing in the United States. However, while the need for quality healthcare appears to be rising (especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic), so are costs. In fact, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that in 2020, healthcare spending grew 9.7%, a much larger increase than 2019’s 4.3%. 

Further, according to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, concern about finances is a massive cause of stress and anxiety for many United States citizens, which breeds a circular problem. People are stressed because they don’t earn enough, and although one solution to chronic stress is seeking therapy, financially concerned people are very unlikely to pay for an expensive therapist. As you can see, this can be a very difficult situation to navigate. 

Every scenario is highly subjective to the individual’s experience, but not being able to afford therapy when you require quality healthcare can be a scary reality to face for both the patient and their loved ones. 

How telehealth can help make therapy affordable 

According to the World Health Organization, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are largely correlated with increased anxiety and other mental health concerns. However, one of the biggest benefits that has arisen is the increase in telehealth. Telehealth is the distribution of healthcare services via remote communication channels, including messaging, phoning, or video conferencing. Whilst it is a form of healthcare that has been around for decades, it has grown exponentially. McKinsey and Company found that telehealth usage increased from 11% in 2019 to 76% post-pandemic. 

At the end of the day, healthcare providers also need to earn a living and pay their bills, so finding ways to reduce the cost of therapy without damaging therapists’ income is a difficult challenge to resolve - but telehealth just might be the answer. Delivering therapy remotely removes the need for overhead expenses, and therapists can save significant amounts of both time and money by implementing virtual options. This means that the cost of a therapy appointment can be reduced (even if only marginally), making it both more affordable and more accessible to patients in need. 

Why do therapy appointments vary in their cost?

Before we dive into the data, let’s first take a look at the reasons behind why prices vary between different therapists and healthcare businesses. Many different factors go into pricing, but some of the most common include:

The type and length of session

This is an obvious one, but the type and length of therapy sessions that you are attending will largely influence the price. Longer sessions will be more expensive, as will those that require specialized treatments or procedures.  

Experience of the therapist

It’s typical of most healthcare providers to increase their prices as they gain more years of experience. This is a trend that carries over to many different professional fields, and it is a valid process - in most cases, the more experience that a provider has, the more qualified, reputable, and reliable they are.

Geographical location

The specific location of the therapist clinic that you are attending will also influence the price. Some cities and states in the US have significantly higher costs of living, which means that overhead expenses (including things like rent) are higher for the therapist. The money that patients pay needs to be able to cover these types of expenses, otherwise, no healthcare business would be able to keep operating. If you live in an area that has a very high cost of living, then telehealth may be the perfect solution for you.

So how much should you be expecting to pay?

If you are reading this, then there is a chance you or a loved one are facing some challenges in your life and are looking for a qualified therapist to reach out to. Whilst there is a wide range of different factors that contribute to how a therapist sets their prices, we’ve done some data-based research and determined approximately how much you can expect to be charged. 

According to a range of different US-based studies, an individual in-person therapy session is likely to cost somewhere between $150-$250. Zencare data found that the nationwide average cost of a therapy session is $182, but it is important to remember that these prices vary significantly depending on a range of different factors. On the other hand, a telehealth therapy session will probably sit somewhere between $60-$100

Zencare gathered data in February 2022 from the private practices registered within their database and had findings pertaining to cost differentiations between states. The results showed that the following five states had the most expensive therapy fees:

  • New York
  • Alaska 
  • Maine
  • Utah
  • New Hampshire

Conversely, the following five states have the least expensive therapy costs:

  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • Oregon
  • North Carolina
  • Montana 

It is also important to note that therapy is billed by the session and not by the hour, which is why the type of appointment you have will influence the fee. Additionally, it is standard practice for therapists to bill their patients monthly, and many patients will have a weekly session. 

Let’s say the cost of an in-person therapy session is $155. If you have one session every week, then the monthly bill for therapy will be $620. We understand that this may put a very noticeable dent in your earnings, which is why it is so difficult for some individuals to access therapy services. Nevertheless, if you approach therapy with an understanding of how much you can expect to pay, then hopefully you can plan ahead and put aside some of your earnings. Another recommended strategy when you are first attending a therapy session is to discuss finances with the therapist. You want to ensure there aren’t any hidden costs and that you are being billed the right amount. 

What about insurance?

Insurance plays a very big role in whether or not people can afford therapy. Under the Affordable Health Act, all insurance policies are required to cover mental health services. However, this is not necessarily the case for therapists, who may only accept certain types of insurance. Additionally, healthcare insurance gets a little bit complicated when it comes to networks. Insurance providers usually have a certain number of healthcare businesses that are within their network, and you have to receive treatment from these practices otherwise you won’t be covered. Having an in-depth understanding of exactly what appointments, treatments, procedures, and practices your insurance covers will help to ensure you have all the relevant information and can look after your health without being compromised by unexpected costs. 

Insurance and telehealth 

In addition to covering therapy services, more insurance providers are beginning to cover telehealth, including Medicare. However, this isn’t the case for every single insurance policy, so you must do your research before committing to telehealth therapy. The healthcare business that you access may also have payment plans available, so if you are struggling financially, it’s a good idea to have a discussion with them and see what options they may have. 

Conclusion 

Struggling with mental health is a serious experience that can cause harm in your personal and professional life. Luckily, qualified therapists have all of the skills necessary to help guide you through managing these concerns, and it’s just a matter of finding a therapist who is accessible and affordable. However, as costs continue to increase, this process may be more difficult than it sounds. So what are your options? We think that it comes down to two things: research and communication. 

Step one is to look into the available therapists near you (or virtually) and determine how much they charge for the type of therapy you are looking for. 

Step two is to communicate; talk to your insurance providers and healthcare practice and determine what their coverage is and how they can help you. 

Remember that therapists are there to assist you - that’s why they work in the field, and they are an invaluable resource to be used in your mental health journey.

Related Articles

Right ArrowRight Arrow

How to tackle an accidental HIPAA violation

HIPAA violations are often a frequent worry for practitioners and their clients. However, you can avoid these breaches through the right system and process.

Jamie Frew
Jamie Frew
7min read

How to use local Google to get therapy clients

Optimizing your Google search and business profile can help grow your private practice with high-quality, low-cost client referrals who live locally.

Katherine Ellison
Katherine Ellison
6min read

How to move from group practice to private practice

We explore the pros and cons of moving from an established Group practice to your private practice.

Katherine Ellison
Katherine Ellison
8min read

Places in America with the Worst (and Best) Hospitals

Making healthcare better for every American is a top priority, however, access to the best hospitals might just come down to your zip code.

Ashleigh Knowles
Ashleigh Knowles
6min read

Is Healthcare More Expensive in Black Neighborhoods?

Evidence suggests that the black community is at a significant disadvantage regarding healthcare in the United States. It’s a systemic misstep that leaves many black citizens struggling to access basic healthcare necessities and care in 2022.

Ashleigh Knowles
Ashleigh Knowles
5min read

7 ways to create an interesting environment in your patients waiting room

When it comes to business, a successful private practice's first impressions count. They help set the tone for your patient's experience, reduce stress, and make people comfortable.

Ashleigh Knowles
Ashleigh Knowles
9min read

How to set the right prices in a therapy practice

Setting the prices can be one of the most complex aspects of running a therapy practice. It isn't easy to balance your financial needs with your clients' pricing standards and expectations.

Ashleigh Knowles
Ashleigh Knowles
8min read

Creating a physical environment policy for private practice

Physical environment policies help healthcare practitioners maintain their practices. Having an organized, clean and appealing environment will improve efficiency and help ensure patients feel comfortable.

Katherine Ellison
Katherine Ellison
8min read

The Places in America Where Mental Health Rates Are Increasing the Fastest

Mental health rates are increasing across the United States, with more than 50 million Americans experiencing a mental illness within the past 12 months.

Katherine Ellison
Katherine Ellison
11min read

Tips to create an effective patient loyalty program

Implementing strategies to develop client loyalty is a fantastic way to boost patient retention. Healthcare practices can design loyalty programs that suit their business needs whilst simultaneously attracting a wider clientele.

Jamie Frew
Jamie Frew
7min read

What are patient privacy laws - protect your patients personal information

Patient privacy is critical for any successful healthcare business. Ensuring health data management is stored safely, and the use of that data is transparent.

Jamie Frew
Jamie Frew
10min read

HIPAA compliance checklist for private practitioners

Managing HIPAA compliance requires an understanding of guidelines and the capability to complete detailed risk assessments. Healthcare compliance. Private practice.

Jamie Frew
Jamie Frew
9min read

5 Must-Have Features of Effective Practice Management Software for Your Business

Using the very best practice management software is a super power for you and your team. It helps you to focus on the things that matter most rather than getting bogged down in busy admin work.

Jamie Frew
Jamie Frew
5min read

Insurance terminologies in healthcare

Understanding insurance terminology and acronyms help you to understand plans and navigate the claims process. Whether you are in network & non-preferred provider, stay up to date with this guide.

Jamie Frew
Jamie Frew
9min read

How to create a budget for your private practice

Monthly or annual budgeting for your private practice is critical but often relegated to the back of your to-do list. Track your general experience and forecast revenue to optimize your cashflow.

Jamie Frew
Jamie Frew
10min read

8 marketing strategies for your healthcare business

The right marketing strategies can help your healthcare business grow, ensuring you always support the right clients at the best times. Here are Eight practices to ace the marketing of your healthcare practice.

Jamie Frew
Jamie Frew
12min read

How to succeed as a healthcare startup

Building your Healthcare startup is both challenging and rewarding. Whether finding new clients, managing compliance, or balancing your budget, here is an expert guide to help.

Jamie Frew
Jamie Frew
10min read

Tips for creating a robust client retention strategy for nutrition business

Client retention is a critical element of any nutrition business's long-term success. Attract the right clients and then engage them effectively for the duration of their treatment.

Jamie Frew
Jamie Frew
10min read

Join 10,000+ teams using Carepatron to be more productive

One app for all your healthcare work