You’ve made the phone call and you’ve scheduled an appointment. Now what? Here’s pretty much everything you need to know before your first consultation and/or appointment.
Sessions are currently available in two formats:
Online via Doxy.me Before your first session, you’ll receive a link that takes you to my Waiting Room. There is very minimal set up, and I am the only one who can see you in the Waiting Room (via your email address on my screen).
The former office in Pioneer Square was closed May 25 2017 as we transitioned to an online and telephonic counseling and coaching services.
Current office hours: Imei – Monday -Thursday 10 am -6:30 pm.
Allison’s hours are posted on her webpage.
How much does my visit cost?
Please select the counselor you wish to see, and under the pull-down menu is a fee schedule for each counselor. For Imei only:
Counseling sessions $120 per 45-50-minute session; $125 for the 50+ session (insurance may require a copayment or deductible payment)
First intake session $150 (usually 90 minutes, unless you receive a complimentary phone consult that takes the place of the first 30 minutes)
Couples sessions $140 per session. Same fee for VoIP/video chat.
Where do I Wait?
As mentioned above, there is a virtual waiting room for those using the Internet-based appointments; for those accessing through phone, you will be given a phone number, and you will initiate the start of the call.
Those with Internet-based appointments: please take a moment to read my blog post on how to conduct online sessions. You will be asked to “show up” about five minutes before the appointment time, and to cover additional issues regarding the communication and confidentiality (including an informed consent form regarding electronic transmission and confidentiality).
If you are an out-of-state resident, you must check with your state’s Department of Health to determine if it allows out-of-state Practitioners to legally conduct online counseling sessions.
How do I pay for my visit? Do you accept credit cards?
If we haven’t discussed that over the phone with you before the visit, it will be covered during the beginning of the first session. You will fill out paperwork giving consent for treatment, and I will take the information from your health insurance card. Please provide a copy front and back of your insurance card on one side of an 8.5 x 11 paper. Payment is due at the beginning of each session. I accept credit cards using credit card processing through Square Register. We do not allow our clients to get behind on payment more than one session.
Introducing: Square Cash https://square.com/cash. Load the app on your smartphone, and pay for your copays or full session, bank to bank, with no service fees (I like this!).
If you prefer not to use Square, I can send you a text request for the amount you will pay directly from my business bank account, and you can pay securely this way. There is no fee to you for this service.
Update: Sept 26, 2016 Square has a new feature, Card on File. While I will do further research, the main premise is that Square wants business owners to build trust with their clients, and trust is based on the worthiness of Square products. The new feature has not been vetted by Imei. Click on the above link to learn more.
Additionally, Imei encourages you to set up a Google Wallet account and get the app on the phone. This is an app that allows you to verify a bank-to-bank transfer of funds, and it does not require you to hand over your debit or credit card. You can pay for your visit or co-pay without fumbling for cards, and there is currently no transaction fee. Yay! (Or, if you prefer, Square Cash, is a similar idea).
Many credit card billing companies have increased their charges due to the credit card company’s recent change in practices. Our preference is that you pay your sessions by cash or check, including any co-pays under $20. Consider using Google Wallet or Square Cash.
Questions About Using Insurance
If I am not paneled with your insurance carrier, you will be billed for the entire amount, due at the beginning of the session. We can give you a receipt, and you can bill your own insurance as out-of-network. Unfortunately, many insurance companies no longer cover Associates (counselors practicing under the supervision of a licensed counselor).
Depending on your plan, your insurance may or may not pay for telehealth services. Call your insurance carrier and request information on what is covered for telehealth services in behavioral health. Coaching is not covered by insurance.
If your insurance fails to pay for your sessions, you will be alerted before your credit card is charged the full fee for each session. You may attempt to use a HCFA form (which I can fill out for you) to pursue an out-of-network reimbursement in some cases. Click on this link to read more details about how to pay for therapy sessions
Click on Forms, download and complete all forms, and bring them to your first session [Note: I am aware that some of the forms have lost their formatting when placed on Google Docs. Other than looking ugly, the information is correct].
I am Microsoft and Premera preferred. I accept Regence (<–click here for my profile on Regence), Premera (uses OneHealthPort.com profile), United Medical Plan (UMP, now Regence), and First Choice Health Network (now also Multicare). If any of your insurance information is under the umbrella of Regence or Premera, Imei accepts these insurance companies. I am moving my practice towards reducing the number of carriers with the worst payouts, allowing you to self-pay and use the proper forms to receive a reimbursement from your insurance. If you have questions about this, please ask me in your free 30 minute consultation.
Update: Premera has one product that I (Imei) am not paneled with, which is Heritage Signature Plus 1 (now PBH). Please call your insurance carrier if you are unsure if I am paneled with your carrier’s behavioral health component.
If you are uninsured or under-insured, we’ve provided one additional avenue for receiving timely counseling on a sliding scale through an Associate, Allison Bulliman, a licensing candidate with whom Imei will be supervising for her LMHC license. Please request this in your free 30 minute consultation, or contact either therapist on their respective pages on the website.
Please take a moment to understand how your insurance works, and my policies on couple’s counseling sessions, out-of-pocket payment, and my sliding scale. If this information is still confusing, take a moment to read my blog post on how to pay for therapy sessions.
Coaching sessions are intensive and require between-session assignments in a time-limited, personalized program. Please inquire about coaching costs in your free 30 minute consultation. Typically, coaching fees are $175 for 60 minutes, and coaching packages for practice building and life coaching can be purchased as well for a flat rate. I also offer a full-service coaching package.
Cancellation policy: your insurance does not cover sessions you are unable to keep. If you cancel within 24 hours before a session, you will be charged the full amount of your session, unless the cancellation is due to unusual hardship, sudden illness, or inclement weather. Remember, non-insurance face-to-face sessions can be converted to phone and Internet sessions, so you can keep your session and sidestep a late-cancel charge.
May I Bring My Children, Spouse, or Partner to My Sessions?
By arrangement, or if your child, spouse, or partner is part of the therapy session itself, the answer to the first question is Yes. Just let me know, as the structure, cost, and billing for the session changes.