What to Expect & How to Start Virtual Services

Whether you are new to counseling services or not, finding a therapist can be overwhelming! Below you can find some brief information on how to begin virtual counseling services with Dr. Houdek.

The first step to start counseling services is an initial free phone call with Dr. Houdek. You can contact Dr. Houdek via phone or email (contact and scheduling purposes only) to speak directly or schedule a phone consultation at a later time. This consultation allows Dr. Houdek to get a brief understanding of your concerns but also to make sure she is a good match for your needs. 

Just as importantly, it allows you to determine if you would like to schedule with Dr. Houdek. If so, an initial session can be scheduled. Dr. Houdek utilizes a safe, confidential platform for video therapy sessions.  As a convenience to clients, Dr. Houdek can verify insurance benefits prior to your first session if requested. With client permission, initial paperwork will be emailed to you prior to the first visit. This allows you to maximize your time in session with Dr. Houdek rather than filling out forms!

The initial 2-3 counseling sessions allow you and Dr. Houdek to work together to determine your needs and goals in counseling. It allows Dr. Houdek to learn more about you and your specific concerns as well as gather any background information to best understand how to support you and your goals. It is also a great chance for you to determine if Dr. Houdek is a good fit for your needs.

Dr. Houdek is a great fit for individuals seeking support related to anxiety and stress, family issues/transitions, relational/interpersonal trauma, social or dating difficulties, self-esteem/body-esteem, and women's issues including phase of life, parenting, trauma, and perinatal (postpartum) mood and anxiety concerns. 

Insurance and Fees

What insurance is accepted?

Dr. Houdek is an in-network provider with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Preferred Provider Operations (BCBSIL PPO plans).  Dr. Houdek is considered an out-of-network provider for all other insurance plans. 

Can I work with Dr. Houdek if my insurance plan is different than BCBSIL PPO?

Dr. Houdek accepts clients with other forms of insurance but is considered an out-of-network provider. Clients are encouraged to contact their insurance provider to determine out-of-network benefits as most insurance plans will still cover a portion of the session fee. 

What about paying out of pocket?

Self-pay clients, or clients who are paying out of pocket without the use of insurance, are also accepted. 

Does my insurance cover all fees? How do I know what I owe?

As a courtesy, Dr. Houdek will gather your insurance information during the initial phone consult and will complete a benefit check to determine any costs owed prior to the initial session and with client permission. Clients are also advised to speak with their insurance company directly to gain an estimate of any fees owed at the time of services, such as a co-pay/co-insurance/deductible. Clients can contact their insurance provider by calling the customer service phone number on the back of their insurance card.

Out-of-Network: Dr. Houdek can provide a superbill document that clients can submit directly to the insurance company for reimbursement of services or session fees (this may be partial reimbursement). Clients are strongly encouraged to check out-of-network benefits directly with insurance provider.  

What is a copayment (copay): 

A fixed fee that you pay at each session. This rate does not change and is due at the time of service. For example, some individuals may have a $25 copay that is paid by the client at each session.

What is coinsurance:

This fee begins once you have met your yearly deductible. Your insurance provider will pay a portion/percentage of the session fee and you are responsible for the remaining portion/percentage. For example, many individuals have a 20% coinsurance in which they pay 20% of the session fee.

What is a deductible:

The amount of money you myst pay out-of-pocket before insurance begins to cover your fees. This amount generally starts over at the beginning of each calendar year. 

For additional information on insurance terms or to access a glossary of healthcare terms please visit BCBS website: https://www.bcbsil.com/insurance-basics/understanding-health-insurance/glossary

Can I pay with a credit card?

Any fees, such as a copay if applicable, are due at the time of service. Dr. Houdek accepts all major credit cards, including health/flexible spending accounts. Dr. Houdek uses IvyPay, a HIPPA-secure electronic payment application to take credit card payments.  

Dr. Houdek does not accept cash or check payments.  A credit/debit card must be used to pay for services. 

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