How to navigate insurance and get the support you are looking for.

Insurance is super confusing--it always has been. Reading the benefit explanation and plan book that is a million pages is no help either. It's almost like they don't want you to use your health insurance benefits you're paying for. Why hasn't an "Insurance for Dummies" book been written yet? Add me to that waitlist!

It's even more challenging when you are trying to be proactive, heading for a breakdown, and have just about exhausted your online search when... YOU FIND YOUR PERFECT THERAPIST! (cue music) But.. dun, dun, dun, it doesn't look like the therapist takes your insurance.

Wait, don't quit there! Remember, what I said at the beginning? Insurance is way confusing. And as of July 1 of this year, many insurance carriers have changed their mental health contractors too. What does that mean? Ok, I'm going to do my best to explain it, so I thought an example might make it the most transparent:

  • Hi, I'm Candace
  • My health insurance carrier is Unicare
  • I find my perfect therapist, but Unicare isn't listed as accepted on her website
  • I call the therapist and tell her what my insurance is
  • She says as of July 1, Unicare has subcontracted mental health benefits to Beacon
  • She's accepts Beacon health insurance
  • Yay!

OK, so your dream therapist accepts your health insurance, now what? Next, you should call your health insurance just to verify your benefits, find out what your co-pay is, and then find out if you have to meet your deductible first or not. In Massachusetts, many plans do not require you to meet your deductible in order to start using your mental health benefits. Your therapist might verify your benefits too, but it always helps calling for your own piece of mind as well.

Remember, investing in your mental health is just as, if not more, important as investing in other areas of your health and life! 

What's with the stigma about going to therapy?

We live in a pretty heavy social media world. A world with filters and edit buttons and photoshop, and instagram and facebook and the ability to choose what we share and what we keep private. Your followers and your friends see your page, see your celebrations, see your perfect house and perfect clothes and begin to believe you have the perfect life.

But let's be real--that's not real life. Real life is messy. Real life is hard. We all know that. So why don't we talk about it? Why is it such a secret that sometimes working, taking care of a family, taking care of ourselves, AND taking care of other adult responsibilities is hard. Especially if we all feel this way?

It's really easy to come home from work, sit your butt on the couch, scroll your social media feeds all night, and be resentful toward other people who appear to have it all together. It can make us angry, or sad, or anxious when we don't have what other people do. So we stew, and we stew, and we stew, until finally we boil over.

You know that something doesn't feel right, you're not yourself. But you don't know what to do. How to feel better. How to get back to being you. You might want to reach out for support, but secretly hold this shame that someone could find out about it. That you're a fraud. That you struggle in a world that tells you every day you need to be perfect. So you don't reach out. You continue to stay in routines and patterns that make you feel like crap instead of making yourself feel better by talking to someone who truly gets what that's like.

That's the stigma that society places on us and we place on ourself. The stigma that holds us back from living our best life. Even though everyone experiences the same damn stuff, no one feels comfortable talking about it.

*NEWSFLASH* Life is not perfect. Let's stop pretending and get real. Think about bullies in middle school or even high school. Did you let them bully you always? Or stand up for yourself? Bullies typically are people who are insecure with what they have or don't have or are jealous of something that you have. So let's change the perspective of our situation by flipping it. 

You are courageous for seeking support. You are strong for standing up and recognizing that you need to make changes in your life. You are unstoppable when you finally make the call to do something about it. Haters gonna hate, baby. Let's do this.