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How Much Does A Psychiatrist Cost Without Insurance?

Last modified: Sep 29, 2022

Mental health is of utmost importance, especially now when we are in the midst of a pandemic.

Just because restrictions are easing in certain parts of the world, it doesn’t mean that things like mental health will automatically snap back. In most cases, mental health recovery takes time, but it’s always going to be worth it.

For instance, you might fear contracting the Coronavirus, i.e., fear for your health, or you might worry about doing simple things, like going outside. These are important matters that need to be handled as signs that you need professional help.

This is why it’s wise to find out the answers to questions like how much does a psychiatrist cost without insurance or whether all insurance plans cover mental health treatments.

Keep on reading since we will cover the initial question and other related ones in this article. Let us start by finding out how much a psychiatrist diagnosis usually costs.


  • How Much Does A Psychiatrist Diagnosis Cost?
  • How Much Does Psychiatry Cost Out Of Pocket?
  • How Much Does A Psychiatrist Cost With Insurance?
  • Does Insurance Cover A Psychiatrist Visit?
  • Insurance Providers That Cover Visits To Psychiatrists

  • United Healthcare
  • Cigna
  • Aetna
  • Kaiser Permanente

  • Conclusion
  • FAQ

How Much Does A Psychiatrist Diagnosis Cost?

When considering how much psychiatrists cost, it would be wise to think of it as a long-term process rather than a short one. Simply because it’s not as though you are only going to have a single session with a psychiatrist, and then everything will be fine.

Since this is an improbable outcome, you may as well put this notion out of your head. If anything, you may find yourself having several initial consultations until you find the psychiatrist that meets your criteria best. If this turns out to be the case, then the road to receiving a definite diagnosis would be a pricey one.

Your first consultation (or intake appointment) will certainly cost a bit more simply because it’s an introductory session that requires more time. It’s only fair for your chosen psychiatrist to know what’s been on your mind recently that made you come to them.

On the plus side, be prepared to hear that you might need to do some medical tests (order blood work, psychological tests or other lab tests). All these are needed to rule out any medical reasons contributing to the psychological signs and symptoms you are experiencing. Moreover, this is an excellent method that tells your psychiatrist the most suitable treatment for your mental recovery.

Furthermore, you must be aware of must-pay charges like

  • Late cancelation charges
  • No-show charges
  • Out of appointment refill and other payments that might occur.

Nevertheless, your psychiatrist can give you a complete overview of such info and costs.

How Much Does Psychiatry Cost Out Of Pocket?

If you wonder how much it costs to see a psychiatrist without insurance, the general price will be around $100 - $300 per session. Though, some professionals charge even more. Still, as we mentioned, be prepared to pay more for the first session since psychiatrists charge for consults and follow-up sessions — most of them range between $400 to $600.

However, this depends significantly on a few factors:

  • the psychiatrist’s rate,
  • the work experience of the psychiatrist
  • their area of expertise,
  • your area of residence,
  • the type of treatment you will need, and other related factors.

So, you might want to look into different professionals near your area to get various price rates and compare them. On top of our head, one of the simple ways of finding out the rate of a particular psychiatrist is to visit their office or inquire their staff about it.

Alright, we’ve covered how much you’ll need to pay for a psychiatric session without insurance. Let’s see whether the cost lowers if you have insurance on your side.

How Much Does A Psychiatrist Cost With Insurance?

Even when you have insurance, we still can’t guarantee that this is a cheap thing to take part in. Psychiatrists are always expensive; however, insurance policies are here to make them a little more bearable.

As we have mentioned above, the intro session will be the most expensive one. What’s more, if you will be using your insurance policy to cover your psychiatrist treatment, it’s important to understand just how far your policy stretches and what its limits are.

There are many costs associated with getting an appointment with a psychiatrist, not just the cost of the sessions themselves. Here are some factors that reflect what the psychiatrist pricing is based upon.

  • Referral Costs

Whether you do or do not need a referral to see a psychiatrist is a common question, whose answer depends on several things:

  • To begin with, check if your insurance obliges you to get a referral.
  • You also need to check whether a referral is a must, based on the specialist you would like to see.
  • And some psychiatrists would only receive you if you come with a referral issued by your GP (general practitioner).

Anyway, in most cases, a referral it’s a must-have on your side. You can also self-refer yourself or maybe someone from your family that is underaged, etc. Still, we advise you to go through your insurance coverage attentively and know beforehand if you are entitled to specific reimbursement in such cases.

You are likely to come across two terms during your search for a psychiatrist visit, ‘In-network’ and ‘Out-of-network.

  • In-Network Costs

Briefly, in-network professionals will charge you less than the usual rate. This is because in-network providers have a contract with your health insurance plan provider. Moreover, your insurance provider will give you a complete list of in-network psychiatrists so you can visit more than just one or two and see which one fits you best.

This ensures that you get the health care services you signed up for at a pre-negotiated rate. You should expect to pay significantly less for this kind of service than out-of-network services, but that doesn’t mean that they will cover the whole cost.

However, once your out-of-pocket expenses are assorted, you will have a definite amount of how much you will pay for a psychiatrist session. And the following elements will play their part in the forming of the price:

  • Deductible

It’s the price you’ll need to pay on your own before the insurance coverage activates. In other words, you will have to pay for the complete sum of your medical charges.

  • Copay

This is a fixed fee, i.e., the amount you will be paying for each session. Consequently, this amount is set by none other than your insurance provider. In the end, the psychiatrist will send a claim to the insurance company that you are with to receive the rest of the money owed for that particular session.

Copayments significantly rely on the following elements:

  • the kind of insurance you use,
  • who’s the provider,
  • the service you’ll be using,
  • and the type of appointment.

For instance, yearly check-ups might demand a higher copay or no copay at all. Or, when visiting a particular specialist and your GP, of course, both will have different copays.

  • Coinsurance

Coinsurance presents the percentage of the fee that you pay per visit. In other words, this is what you pay after all the deductibles are made.

  • Out-of-network Costs

Out-of-network, of course, is the opposite of in-network. Meaning the provider doesn’t consider your insurance plan. Therefore, brace yourselves when you see the total price of the treatment and the sole fact that you need to pay for it.

Another option if you are worried about the cost is looking into how much does online psychiatry sessions cost. It may be slightly lower than what you would find for in-person sessions, but not by much, if at all. However, if you think that it will be cheaper, you are fooling yourself. 

This is why it is crucial that you truly understand what your insurance policy caters for or doesn’t, for that matter. By knowing the ins and outs of your healthcare policy, you’ll avoid piling up enormous amounts that will eventually become debts.

Does Insurance Cover A Psychiatrist Visit?

Not entirely, is the short answer to this question. However, it depends on a lot of variables.

For example, some private health insurance companies do over psychiatrists, but not all. In other words, you need to check carefully before you agree to the terms of the insurance policy. Hence, doing your research will be an essential factor in ensuring that you have the right one, especially if you think a psychiatrist trip will probably happen soon.

For instance, the health insurance plans by the Affordable Care Act ensure mental health coverage. Moreover, the law requires all small employers and individual insurance plans to include mental health treatment. The Health Insurance Marketplace plans also offer this type of coverage alongside substance use disorder-related services. Furthermore, the extent of the coverage encompasses other behavioral health services.

On the plus side, Medicaid and Medicare also provide coverage that includes psychiatry treatments.

Medicare Part B coverage encompasses the following outpatient mental health services:

  • Psychiatric evaluation
  • A one-time “Welcome to Medicare” visit.
  • Medication management
  • Mental health services (inpatient and outpatient).
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Individual and group psychotherapy sessions.
  • Administration of certain medications (injections), etc.

Whereas Medicaid also offers broad coverage for outpatient and inpatient mental health-related services (medication management, counseling, evaluation, etc.).

Nonetheless, some psychiatrists don’t accept insurance, and they are under no obligation to do so. Additionally, one of the reasons why many private psychiatrists stopped accepting insurance was because private insurance companies didn’t meet industry standards. And, another reason is the low reimbursement fees they get from insurance companies.

Plus, there is a lot of paperwork associated with insurance, and it simply isn’t as profitable for the psychiatrist to accept it. While this might not seem like a fair reason, it's one of the contributing factors.

Insurance Providers That Cover Visits To Psychiatrists

We’ve already mentioned that most insurance providers don’t cover mental health or psychiatric visits. However, some still come through for those in need of these services.

So, now that you have a better idea of how much does a psychiatrist costs with insurance, you should also know which insurance providers cover psychiatrist visits.

With no further delay, here are the top 4 insurance companies that cover this type of medical need:

  • United Healthcare
  • Cigna
  • Aetna
  • Kaiser

United healthcare

It is a general consensus that United Healthcare offers the best policy for mental healthcare. Furthermore, they provide comprehensive mental and behavioral healthcare as part of the insurance plans.

This insurance company provides online mental health assets + effortless access to their prescribed therapy when in need. And this is not all; United Healthcare also offers 24/7 support lines. However, it would be best if you are patient to see an in-person provider as it takes time to find an in-network provider and get an appointment set up.


Cigna is one of the best telehealth coverage companies. They can help you connect with mental or behavioral care 24/7 using a nurse’s hotline. One of the greatest things about this insurance company is their Healthy Rewards program for wellness improvement in the workplace, also adding an extra incentive.

If you are looking for an insurance company with the most mental health resources at your disposal and is equipped with plenty of online tools, we have a winner — it’s Aetna!


Even better, Aetna is an insurance company that caters to cover the cost of psychiatry treatments too. To make things easier, there is a search tool on their website that helps you find a mental health provider near you; this way, you won’t have to spend hours traveling back and forth.

Though you should know that out-of-network services may not be included in the coverage, or you might bear some extra costs in certain cases. However, this mainly depends on the plan you’re acquiring through them.

Kaiser offers a range of options, such as psychiatric care for people with mental, emotional, and substance abuse problems. What’s more, this is an insurance company that can help you get the mental health care you need without any referrals.


One of the best things about Kaiser is the efficiency and quality of customer service they offer to their patients. They’ll go to the extent of coordinating the insurance and healthcare for you, thus, taking away the burden of your back. However, there’s one problem about Kaiser — it covers only eight states. Unfortunately, this is a pretty limited availability.



To conclude on everything said so far, the simple answer to the question ‘how much does a psychiatrist cost without insurance’ is that it depends on several factors. Among other things, these factors include the individual psychiatrist rate and how qualified they are.


You should never forget that you will pay more for your initial consultation, and from there, the charges per session will drop. However, you should still expect to pay a pretty hefty sum of around $100-300 per hour for these sessions. The better reputed and widely known experienced psychiatrists will charge you even more than $300. In that case, our advice is that if you are paying more than the usual rate, make sure you are getting your money’s worth.


What’s more, if you ever need to see a psychiatrist, but you are struggling to afford one, do your research right, figure out how much money you will need, and weigh all your options before making any decisions.


After all, knowing what you can expect to pay on average will help you plan your budget upfront; thus, you can start working on how you can afford a psychiatrist visit, even without insurance.


How Do People Afford Psychiatrists Without Insurance?

This is one of the most common questions that people have today. And the truth is there are several ways that this is possible, one of them being the necessity to find out their rates beforehand and save for it.

Some people will look at in-network providers first. Or, you can check out the Federally Qualified Health Centers to see if you can get the help/funds you need to cover mental health expenses.

Ultimately, people without insurance go for cheap, or should we say affordable psychiatrists that can provide them with the service they need in the nearby or same area. And, sometimes, people choose speaking to a therapist over a psychiatrist because they are a much more affordable option.

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