An Unfair Practice: Another day, another round of emails with an insurance company, trying to get an authorization for a prospective client’s psychotherapy sessions. This insurance company, like most insurance companies, is clueless when it comes to providing services to its Deaf members. Because the company doesn’t have any qualifed in-network therapists that the Deaf client can see, the client is forced to go out-of-network to find a therapist. Going out-of-network often means paying a higher deductible or co-payment, making therapy more expensive. Fewer sessions per year are usually authorized for out-of-network services as well. If you stay in-network, there is usually the advantage of no deductible or at least a much lower one.
You would think that since it isn’t the client’s fault that the insurance company can’t provide a qualified in-network therapist, that the insurance company would waive the deductible in this case. Not so. Repeated emails about this were dismissed, citing “company policy”. The deductible stands. Is this fair? Even worse are cases when the insurance company won’t allow the client to go out-of-network, insisting that the client settle for a therapist who can sign a little bit or who is willing to write back and forth or even lip-read during sessions. This sounds old-fashioned and very pre-ADA, but it still happens today. It is ridiculous!