How Much Does A Psychiatrist Cost Without Insurance?

2 years ago
5 mins 47 secs

“How much does a psychiatrist cost without insurance?” is one question you’ll ponder when you need a psychiatrist. These medical professionals are your first stop when you have mental, behavioral, and emotional concerns. Visiting one is certainly not free, so knowing how much they charge will help plan your budget. If you need the expertise of a Psychiatrist, here’s how much you’ll spend.

You’ll have to pay $500 during your initial visit and about $100 – $250 for subsequent appointments if you don’t have insurance. The cost varies depending on your residence, your psychiatrist’s expertise, and the number of visits. Your total cost also depends on if you’re visiting in person or you prefer online sessions. Though their services might be expensive, it’s usually worth the price.

Why is a Psychiatrist Important?

Psychiatrists are medical doctors specializing in mental health conditions. Several issues prompt people to seek the advice of psychiatrists, including panic attacks, suicide ideation, hallucinations, depression, or hopeless sensations. These doctors can give medicine, and many offer psychotherapy as well.

How Much Does a Psychiatrist Cost Without Insurance?

Now that you know what a psychiatrist does, it’s time to put an end to your wondering.

A psychiatrist’s fee is typically higher than that of a psychologist or counselor. This is because they are qualified physicians, able to run medical tests and prescribe medication.

The cost of an in-person consultation or meeting with a psychiatrist varies depending on the professional. Initial examinations with a psychiatrist, for example, cost between $250 and $300. Follow-up appointments lasting 30 to 60 minutes cost between $100 and $200 per visit. 

However, you could opt for a virtual visit via the GoodRx Telehealth Marketplace. Here, a consultation with a psychiatrist could cost you $99 or less per session. Other online platforms might charge less or more for these sessions.

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What Is the Cost of a Psychiatrist without Insurance?

Even though you’re usually supposed to have medical insurance, some coverage might be limited. Without insurance, you could pay $500 or more at the onset.

The cost per session will depend on factors such as your location, the psychiatrist’s level of experience and qualifications, and the time allotted per session. Other factors that influence this are whether your visits are in-house or online.

What Is the Cost of a Psychiatrist with Insurance?

If you have health insurance, your initial consultation is usually covered. However, not all health plans cover these visits. Therefore, before you enlist the help of these professionals, check your health plan to see who might be covered.

Here are some points to note:

  • Many health insurance providers work with a specific network of participating physicians and specialists. If you consult with a psychiatrist outside of this network, you might not receive complete coverage from your health insurance provider. Therefore, it’s best to see an in-network provider for the most cost-effective alternative.
  • If your deductible is high, such as $4,000, you will most likely be responsible for the entire cost of a psychiatrist.

Payment Alternatives for Psychiatric Treatment

Mental wellness should be a top priority for you. If you’re having problems with your mental health, you should see a psychiatrist figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it. 

Although many mental health clinics provide sliding-scale payment options, this does not usually cover the entire cost of care. Consider other payment options if you’re without health insurance or don’t have the funds to cover the cost.

For those in need of financial aid for mental health care, the following options may be worth exploring:

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1. Visit Providers with Scaling Rates

Some physicians in private practice will charge on a sliding scale, with fees varying depending on your financial situation. Additionally, several hospitals and clinics provide discounts or financial aid to uninsured patients.

2. Enroll in a State-Sponsored Health Plan

Medicaid is a federal and state-run program in the US that helps individuals who fall within the low-income bracket to cover their healthcare bills. This program also offers additional care benefits, such as nursing home or personal care. With such benefits, you should be able to cover the cost of a psychiatrist.

3. Using Cash from a Health Savings Account (HSA) Or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Every year, an FSA deducts $2,600 from your take-home pay. A family of four can save $6,750 with an HSA, while an individual can save $3,400. To pay for the cost of a psychiatrist, you can use the savings you’ve built up. 

4. Checking with Your Company to Discover If an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Is Available to You 

Another alternative to cover the cost of a psychiatrist session is to take advantage of an employee assistance program. EAPs are benefits programs designed to assist employees with personal or work issues that might influence their performance. If such incentives are available, you can apply to get some coverage for your medical expenses.

5. Taking Out a Personal Loan or Paying with a Credit Card

Loans are a typical solution when looking to cover the cost of a psychiatrist without insurance. You can apply for these via a bank or other money-lending establishments. One thing to note is that you have to pay your lender back over a period. And these payments will include interest, which means you’ll pay far more in the long run than the initial amount borrowed.

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6. Visiting Government-Funded Health Facilities or Clinics 

The US SAMHSA publishes an annual directory of mental health treatment institutions arranged by territory. This list can aid you in locating services and payment choices in your area. 

Some public psychiatric community mental health centers or community behavioral health centers provide free, low-cost, or reduced services. It’s easy to find such a facility in your area when you use the SAMHSA mental health treatment services locator online.

7. Find a Local Non-profit That Provides More Inexpensive Solutions

Psychiatrists are sometimes present in these healthcare facilities, designated for those who are “medically underserved.” A good example is those without health insurance. 

Some of these providers have a pharmacy on-site. And in this case, your medication will usually be provided to you at no charge. You can use the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics’ Find a Clinic feature to locate one in your area.

8. Using an Online Platform to Consult with a Psychiatrist 

Using online platforms like Talkspace or BetterHelp is another way to cover the cost of a psychiatrist. These platforms offer more cost-effective services than receiving therapy in person.

9. Apply for Disability Benefits

Suppose your mental health or behavioral problem prevents you from working or keeping a job. In that case, you would likely be eligible to apply for a disability grant. This is certainly something worth investigating.


Psychiatrists are physicians who specialize in mental and emotional health and can prescribe medication and provide counseling. While professional treatment might be costly, low-cost, reduced, and even free choices are available. To save money, find out whether you meet the criteria for health insurance coverage.

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