Frequently Asked Questions:
How much do you charge?
My private pay session rates are $175 per 50 minute session and $270 per 90 minute session.
All other licensed clinicians are $150 per 50 minute session.
All other Associate clinicians are $120/50 minute sessions, and reduced fee appointments may be available.
Payment is due at time of service. Cash, check, credit or debit card are accepted.
Group sessions vary and are listed under each group.
Do you take insurance?
As a way to provide services and give back to the community, I currently accept the following insurance plans:
Nicole Serrano, LMFT is contracted with and accepts IEHP, Kaiser, Risk Management only. I do not work with other insurance companies.
All other licensed staff only accepts Risk Management Insurance.
The cost per session then depends on what your deductible and Co-pay are in your plan.
Why don't you take my insurance?
There are various reasons why clinicians do not accept insurance or some insurance plans. Some insurance plans unfortunately do not have their panels open to accept new providers. Some plans do not cover mental health or reimburse adequately. Other plans are known for frequently denying services. The insurance plans I take at this time are because they have served client and clinician well in our experience thus far.
Do you offer any special or reduced rates?
As a way to give back to my community, in addition to the free resources and psychoeducation I provide for certain community events, I also provide a limited amount of appointments with special rates for private pay clients who are:
- MFT/ MSW students through group therapy
- First Responders:
* Fire Fighters
* Law Enforcement
* Active duty, retired Military & Veterans
For current special rates, please message me.
If I use my insurance, is there any risk with confidentiality?
Insurance is a wonderful way to have services covered and works for many patients. However, I like to provide information to all my clients so they can make an informed decision if they would like to use insurance benefits.
- Because you are using your insurance benefits, the insurance REQUIRES that a patient meet medical necessity (which insurance dictates) and that this diagnosis be provided to the insurance. They determine if the symptoms and diagnosis meets their requirements for medical necessity. If it does not, services are not covered which means you are responsible for the cost. It is illegal and unethical for a therapist to "make up a diagnosis" to get services reimbursed.
- Insurance companies Require that the diagnosis, date, time, and progress note from the session be submitted to them or available for them if they want the records, or want to audit any records. The therapist and client cannot deny or prevent this as this is part of the stipulation of using insurance. Typically the only reason this would be reviewed is to determine if services are necessary, to provide continuity of care, or when insurance companies are attempting to audit and review to deny claims from the past.
- A therapist cannot guarantee or ensure confidentiality with this information due to not having control over who the employees are or who is reviewing the information. However, all who are able to access the information are bound by HIPPA laws to keep all infromation and PHI confidential.
- A direct supervisor from work or employer should not have access to your Protected Health Information. If you feel this is the case, contact your insurance company or look for your HIPPA rights form from your insurance company.
- Your therapist will never disclose information about you to an employer, supervisor or other person outside of the insurance company without written or verbal consent from you. If there is ever a court order or subpoena for information, you will be notified. The only time a therapist cannot ever disclose or let you know about information being accessed is under the Patriot Act. "Section 215 of the Patriot Act of 2001 contains a troublesome exception to confidentiality in that it not only requires therapists (and others) to provide Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents with books, records, papers, documents, and other items, but it also then prohibits the therapist from disclosing to the patient that the FBI agent sought or obtained the items under the Act" ((https://www.camft.org/Resources/Legal-Articles/Chronological-Article-List/confidentiality-and-its-exceptions-including-the-us-patriot-act)
What if I don't want to use my insurance?
You never are forced to use your insurance. If you feel more comfortable paying privately for services, you are the only one in control of who you disclose your information to and that you are in therapy. In other words, you and your therapist know and you do not have to disclose this information to anyone else. You would simply sign a private pay agreement and not be able to submit these services to insurance for reimbursement.
*therapist must still be in compliance with mandates to report/ limits to confidentiality as legally and ethically required.
Why do you only offer a limited amount of reduced fee clients?
Unfortunately, therapists still need to make a living that can support their own families, cost of living, student loans and business costs which means we can only take a limited amount of reduced fee appointments to make sure everything is running well.
Why do you only see individuals? Can't you do couples or family therapy?
Although I (Nicole Serrano, LMFT) am qualified to provide couples or marital counseling and family counseling, the focus of my practice at this time is to provide healing therapy individually. I specialize in healing from trauma, or "being stuck" with a memory, experience, behavior or way of responding to things that you want to change.
If you are looking for a couples therapist or family therapist specifically, we are happy to offer these services with one of our providers that do provide these services, and if there is no availability, I am more than happy to do my best in providing you with a referral.
Are you online or in person?
At this time all services are still online unless otherwise indicated.
Most of our providers are Telehealth only providers, there are limited in person session appointments available depending on the provider.
We have provided online therapy since 2017.
Laws & mandated notices
Good Faith Estimate Notice
You have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your medical and mental health care will cost.
Under the law, health care providers need to give patients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the expected charges for medical services, including psychotherapy services.
You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any non-emergency healthcare services, including psychotherapy services.
You can ask your health care provider, and any other provider you choose, for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule a service.
If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill. Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate.
For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises.