App installation banner

How to Afford Psychiatry Without Insurance

Written and medically reviewed by Dorcas Morak, Pharm.D

Updated on March 13th, 2023

Save up to 88% on your medications

The high cost of psychiatry may prevent you from seeking care, especially when you don't have insurance. Since mental health is a part of your total health, it is risky to put it on the line because of cost. Keep reading for information on various resources that can give you access to free or low-cost psychiatric therapy.

How expensive is psychiatry without insurance?

A psychiatry session without insurance can cost between $65 to more than $250 per hour, depending on the part of the country. The American Psychological Association (APA) states that it typically takes 15 to 20 sessions to see significant improvement during psychotherapy, although some people require more. Therefore, if you pay $150 per session and you need a total of 16 sessions you will pay a total of $2,400.

What determines the cost of psychiatry treatment?

Your total cost of psychiatry treatment depends on factors such as

  • Type of therapy: The type of therapy – individual, group, or couples therapy – you receive determines the cost.
  • Therapist’s expertise: Highly qualified therapists with successful track records tend to charge more than those with less experience.
  • Therapist’s specialty: Specialized therapists usually charge more.
  • Treatment location: The cost of treatment is usually higher in cities with a higher cost of living.
  • Duration of treatment: Treatment with fewer sessions will cost less.
  • Treatment delivery: Teletherapy is usually cheaper than a face-to-face form of therapy.

How to afford psychiatry without insurance?

Various programs offer free or low-cost psychiatric treatment if you don't have insurance or your insurance plan doesn't cover your treatment. Options include:

  • Local Social Services: Ask your local department of public health to connect you with community mental health clinics near you. Here you may be able to locate government-based centers that offer psychiatry for free or low-cost.
  • Professional organizations: Instead of contacting Social Services, you can also contact professional organizations that provide resources and information about psychiatry in your area. Organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will connect you with affordable psychiatry therapy. Other examples of such organizations include the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), and the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA).
  • Local university or college clinics: A university clinic is an excellent place to check for free or low-cost psychiatry treatment. Many universities give access to therapists in training to offer free or low-cost treatment. Also, some universities may be researching diseases similar to yours, which will afford you a free diagnosis and some free medications for treatment.
  • Nonprofit organizations: Some nonprofit organizations, such as Open Path Psychotherapy Collective, give you access to affordable options for psychotherapy. When you register by paying a lifetime membership fee of $59, you can book an appointment with a therapist at $30 to $60 per session, depending on your state.
  • Disability benefits: You may qualify for disability benefits if you suffer a chronic or severe mental illness that interferes with your work.
  • Ask for a discount: Negotiate the cost with your therapist if you can't afford the rate. Many private therapists may be willing to lower their fees to meet your needs. Sometimes, therapists may shorten your number of sessions to lower your overall cost.
  • Consider group therapy: Group therapy can help make psychiatry treatment more affordable than individualized therapy. Group therapy allows you to consult an expert without paying the individual fee.

Does Medicaid offer psychotherapy assistance?

If you are eligible for Medicaid, you can access some psychotherapy assistance. The eligibility criteria for Medicaid usually vary from state to state. Depending on your state, some of the Medicaid-covered psychiatry programs include:

  • counseling
  • inpatient hospitalization
  • outpatient services
  • physician services
  • substance use disorder treatment
  • caregiver support
  • medication-assisted treatment
  • prescription medications

Can I use the RxLess prescription discount card to save cost on my psychiatry medications?

Yes. You can use a free RxLess coupon to save as much as 88% on your medications, such as Xanax (alprazolam), Prozac (fluoxetine), Ativan (lorazepam), and others. Click here for a detailed list of mental health medications. Follow these instructions to get your free card and present it at your local pharmacy, including CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles