New patient FAQ

What’s a psychiatrist versus a therapist? What’s a copay versus coinsurance? Let’s define some common terms.

A guide to the roles on our team

What's a psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in mental health. Psychiatrists evaluate their patients’ symptoms, prescribe medication, and sometimes offer additional talk therapy.

If you need talk therapy beyond what your psychiatrist provides, they will refer you to one of our therapists, and both experts will collaborate on your care together.

What's a therapist?

A therapist is a mental health professional who specializes in talk therapy. While therapists can’t prescribe medication, they can help you explore emotional challenges and develop coping strategies.

At Talkiatry, you can be referred to a therapist as part of your care, but you must already be seeing a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner.

What's a psychiatric nurse practitioner?

A psychiatric nurse practitioner is a medical professional who specializes in mental health. Like psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners can assess their patients’ symptoms, prescribe medication, and sometimes offer talk therapy.

As with our psychiatrists, if you need talk therapy beyond what your psychiatric nurse practitioner provides, they will refer you to one of our therapists, and both experts will collaborate on your care together.

Insurance terms explained

What’s an Explanation of Benefits?

An Explanation of Benefits is a document sent by your insurer that explains the cost of each service you receive. You might get one in the mail after your first appointment. It might look like a bill, but it’s just a guide to help you understand the cost of your care.We’ll only send bills to you via email. If you’re ever unsure, you can check your balance on your patient portal or on the Healow app anytime.

Have questions about your bill? Reach out to

What’s a co-pay?

Your co-pay is a flat fee you pay for each visit, set by your insurer. You may see it on your insurance card next to “specialist visit.”

What’s a deductible?

Your deductible is the minimum amount you need to pay toward your care before your insurer will cover your costs.

What’s coinsurance?

Like your co-pay, your coinsurance is a fee you pay for each visit, set by your insurer. Unlike your co-pay, your coinsurance is a percentage of the total cost of your care, instead of a fixed amount.

Billing statements and notifications

How does billing work and when can I expect my bill?

After your visit, we’ll bill your insurance company directly. Once they receive it, they’ll determine how much is covered based on your specific plan. Depending on how soon your insurance company notifies us of payment or denial, we’ll send you a statement with all the details and how much you owe, if anything. This process typically takes about 30-45 days.

How do I download my statement?

After you receive your first bill, you can view and download statements online at any time. Head to to sign in. Your statements will be on your dashboard and you can download or print them directly from there.

Can I get my statement by mail?

Absolutely. You can opt in for paper statements at Here’s how:

  1. Log in at
  1. Click the button with your initials in the upper right-hand corner of the screen
  1. Click ‘My Account’ on the drop down
  1. Toggle the notification on for ‘Paper’

Note: You can also print statements directly from your account dashboard on that same site.

How do I change my billing notifications?

We’ll notify you every time you receive a new bill, but you can choose how we notify you (email, text, or paper statement) at To select your preferences:

  1. Log in at
  1. Click on the button with your initials in the upper right-hand corner of the screen
  1. Click ‘My Account’ on the drop down
  1. Use the toggle to opt in or out of notification types (you will have to have one selected)


Do I pay my co-pay before my visit?

To simplify the billing process, we don’t charge copays before your visit. After your visit, we’ll bill your insurance company directly. Once we hear from them, we’ll create a full statement that includes your copay and any other charges.

How do I pay my bill?

The easiest way to pay your bill is to sign into our secure online payment site at You can pay your bill, view statements, and even create a payment plan. Your first bill will have instructions on how to set up your account.

I was contacted by a collection agency. Why? What should I do next?

For any charges associated with your visit, you’ll have 120 days (starting from the day you were billed) to pay the balance. After 120 days, we use a third-party service to help with collection. You can work directly with them to pay your bill.  

We have these financial policies in place to ensure that we can provide quality, uninterrupted care. We reserve the right to end our relationship with patients who don’t adhere to the agreed-on policies.  

Understanding my bill

Do I have to pay my bill if the provider referred me out?

Yes, we do have to bill for a consultation, even if you’re referred out. Through our online assessment, we do our best to determine if Talkiatry is the right fit for your care. But the only way to determine a treatment plan is by talking with one of our psychiatrists during your session.

Why are there multiple billing codes on my statement?

Medical billing is no one’s favorite subject. The codes on your bill are called CPT codes, and they’re part of how doctors and insurance companies communicate.  

For a psychiatric visit, it’s normal to see more than one code, since the doctor is providing more than one type of care (evaluation, management, psychotherapy, and psychoeducation) within a single visit.  

These codes are monitored by a team of coders to make sure everything is accurate and your insurance company gets all the information they need.  

Why was I billed for an ‘office visit’ if my appointment was online?

The simple answer: billing codes haven’t evolved the way care has. To insurers, an office visit and a virtual visit are the same and are covered at the same rate. As virtual care becomes more common, we expect the billing codes will catch up.

How much will my visit cost?

The main factor that determines the cost of your visit is your insurance coverage. The majority of our patients pay $25 or less per visit.* If you have a deductible plan and haven’t met your deductible yet, the average cost is between $325 and $414. The best way to get an estimate of your total cost is to contact your insurance company and ask about their coverage for outpatient psychiatric services.  

*Includes all types of patient costs: copayment, deductible, and coinsurance. Excludes no-shows and includes $0 payments.

Why does my visit cost different?

There are several factors that may impact the cost of your visit. On the Talkiatry side, factors could include whether it is with a therapist or a psychiatrist, length of the visit, and type of the visit (ie. Evaluation, medication check-in). On the insurance side, the cost will be influenced by the specifics of your plan, such as your deductible and coinsurance.

How do I get in touch with the billing department?

The best way to get in touch with the Billing department is to send an email to A billing specialist will respond to you in 3-4 business days.

Insurance questions

Why am I out of network when you work with my insurance company?

For certain plans, insurance companies will have their mental health benefits managed by a third-party company. While we may work with your insurer, there are cases where we aren’t able to work with that third party.  

We are dedicated to expanding access and are constantly working to expand the number and type of plans we can accept. If you’re out of network now, we hope you’ll check back in with us.  

In the meantime, we recommend searching your insurers website, or for an in-network provider. You can also ask your primary care doctor for a referral.  

Why wasn’t insurance applied to my bill?

Our billing statements are automatically sent out after a visit is completed. If your insurance has terminated, you have new insurance, or your insurance was sent to us after your visit was completed, it may not have been applied to that visit. We can retroactively apply your coverage, if it was active at the time of your visit though. Just let our billing department know by emailing and attaching any related documentation.

My insurance company denied my claim because of a Coordination of Benefits (COB) Issue. What should I do next?

In many cases it’s because they’re listed as your secondary insurer. If you want to change that, you’ll have to:

  • Call your insurance company using the number on the back of your insurance card  
  • Let them know you want to update your "coordination of benefits" and make them your “primary insurance” company. Note the name of the representative that you spoke with and ask for a call reference number.
  • Send an email to with the representative name and call reference number.

If the insurer that denied the claim is your secondary insurance and we don’t have your primary insurance on file:

  • Email with pictures of the front and back of your primary insurance card. We will then update your account and charges.

How to talk to us

Scheduling, refills, or technical issues?

Call 833-351-TALK (8255) or email us at and one of our care coordinators will help.

Need to reach your clinician?

You can message your psychiatrist or therapist any time through healow. You’ll hear back within 48 hours. Log in or download the app from Apple or Google.

If you or someone you know is in a crisis, call 911 or call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.