You Have No Privacy When Using Insurance: Especially for Mental Health Treatment

You Have No Privacy When Using Insurance: Especially for Mental Health Treatment


Many people want to use their insurance, if they are lucky enough to have it. It costs them less money after all. There are many limitations people either don’t know about or fully understand.  First, you are limited to in network providers.  They might not be the best.  The insurance company wants your diagnosis, which becomes a part of your permanent record.  Hopefully you are accurately diagnosed. They often also want your progress notes and treatment plan.  That could be very personal stuff.   They also have low level people telling doctors how to treat their patients.  They limit how many sessions you can have, which means superficial symptom reduction without getting to the core issue and healing, truly healing.  If they decide not to pay, then you are responsible, and you might not know this until many sessions after.  A business savvy psychologist will have your credit card information and charge you for those sessions.  There are also some other things that might have you think twice about using insurance for mental health care.

If you want to work with the government and in a special operations line of work, you might get rejected.  You would need a waiver, and if you lie about having been in treatment, you can get booted for fraud.  Any diagnosis will keep you from being a pilot or a SEAL.  If you get into a car accident and get into litigation, all of your records could be court ordered and used against you.  If you get into any legal situation, your records can be used against you.  If you get into a custody battle, which are ugly, very ugly, your information can also be court ordered and used against you.  Also, records are being stored digitally and in the cloud now.  There are people hacking into sites left and right.  I wonder how long it will take before they hack into an insurer’s site and leak out people’s very private information.

There are still confidentiality limitations when seeing a provider regardless of the payment structure.  However; you are more protected when paying out of pocket.  People also tend to value their treatment more, are more committed, and put more effort into changing when they pay the full fee rather than a co-pay.  So ask yourself when looking for a psychologist who takes your insurance, do you think you’ll never get into a car accident, inhale toxic fumes, get a divorce, have children or get into a legal bind?


Dr. Umfer is a licensed clinical psychologist and forensic psychologist in Tampa Florida. She specializes in weight loss and forensic evaluations, such as sex offender risk assessments, psychological evaluations for substance abuse, competency, fitness for duty, immigration etc. She has certifications in fitness and nutrition, clinical hypnotherapy and as a meditation instructor. She identifies herself as a Forensic Evaluator and Weight Liberator and strives to help clients become "Umferized" aka empowered and fulfilled.

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