Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Payments

As a private-pay only counseling service, Omar accepts all major Credit/Debit cards, plus both Flexible Savings Account (FSA) & Healthcare Spending Account (HSA) in the form of a VISA card. Unfortunately, the following forms of payment are not accepted: 

a) Cash

b) Check

c) Money Order

d) Health Insurance

TalkThinkThrive, PLLC is a private pay only counseling service, as health insurance is not accepted. To understand why,  below are six (6) important reasons it may be in the best interest of clients to pay for services directly, rather than use insurance:

  1. Privacy – One of Omar’s values is to protect the information you share with him as he understands it to be private. Thus, Omar has chosen to not accept insurance to ensure your privacy is kept 100% confidential, especially from health insurance companies. There are some exceptions to confidentiality, which Omar will explain during your initial session and are listed within the service consent forms.
  2. Control – When using insurance, they dictate what you can get approved for, how much they are willing to pay, and how often you can receive these services. As the insurance member, the quality of care is limited to what or whom the insurances can offer. When you choose to pay privately, you have control over which service you need, plus the amount of sessions you want for the week at a price point that fits in your budget.
  3. Limited – Sometimes you may need a provider with specific knowledge, skills or experience as it pertains to helping you with the problem/issue you are dealing with. As a Marriage & Family Therapist, Omar offers expertise around helping those with relationships issues and the impact that it has on one’s mental health. When using insurance, you are limited to working with only generalist providers who are contracted with them, which hinders your ability to work with specialists such as himself.
  4. Waiting List – Many Massachusetts residents are required to have insurance as part of State Law. As such, many providers who are contracted with insurance tend to have waitlist. This happens because there are so many people who need services but so few providers within the realm of insurance that can render the services. This has created a dilemma in which Omar plans to build TalkThinkThrive into a group practice to eliminate the need for any ongoing waitlist. As soon as you are ready to commit to change, you can make a request for services and receive an immediate intake appointment, either for that same day, later that week, or by the following week.
  5. Frequency – Even with a top-tier insurance coverage, many services covered under insurance have a cap on how often services can be rendered and received. Many people who need therapy support may want to have more than just one (1) session per week. Sometimes, it may be beneficial to have two, three, or more weekly sessions when you begin services as this may help keep you accountable towards making life long changes. As a sole practitioner, Omar has established flexibility in his practice so that clients can participate in services based on their needs, only subject to available openings in his schedule and clients ability to maintain their financial responsibility to pay for each session.
  6. Diagnosis – It is mandatory for therapist to provide a mental health diagnosis when using insurance as payment for services. Without a diagnosis, the therapist will not be able to submit a bill for insurance payment reimbursement. However, we found that this practice of diagnosing, from the initial intake, is unfair and unjust to the person seeking out for help. We do acknowledge that for many people, having a diagnosis is helpful to be able to provide a label to what they are struggling with. At the same time, we would rather focus our energy on helping people around the struggles they face instead of focusing on figuring out the symptoms of a diagnosis to justify why the person needs therapy.

Session payments are processed at the end of the day, between 12am to 2am, following your appointment.

Yes. If it is found that the payment system that Omar uses overcharged you, for whatever reason, he will gladly submit a request to refund you the difference. Refunds can only be made with the card that was entered into your individual record, which was used for payment. Refund process may take between 1-3 business days to be redeposited into your account.

No. At the end of your session, payment is expected to be processed. If you are unsatisfied with the services Omar has rendered, you have the right to either 

a) Terminate services, at any given time. 

b) Make a request from Omar to provide you with a list of other therapists based on your preferences. 

c) Contact your Primary Care Physician and ask for a referral with a therapist at your local clinic/hospital.

Fees

Omar offers a simple, straight forward price for his services. Please visit the Fees page to review counseling service fees. 

Even with his straight forward pricing, you have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining the total cost of your mental health care cost.

Under the No Surprise Act, health care providers need to give patients, who either do not have insurance or choose not to use their insurance, an estimate of the expected charges for medical services, which includes counseling/therapy.

Because of this, you have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of counseling services rendered by your therapist (Omar A. Ruiz, LMFT) of TalkThinkThrive, PLLC).

In addition, you have the right to ask Omar for a Good Faith Estimate, before you scheduled an initial session, during your Free 15-min phone call consultation. 

If you ever receive a bill/charge, that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill. Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate.

For more information about your right to a Good Faither Estimate, please visit www.cms/gov/nosurprises.

If you are unable to afford paying for weekly services, out-of-pocket, here are some alternative options: 

a) Bi-weekly or Monthly sessions – Counseling services can be provided bi-weekly or once a month. This allows for clients to spread out services in a way that creates more financial balance instead of attending to weekly sessions.

b) FSA/HSA Visa Cards – If your employer has provided you with the option of putting aside pre-taxed funds into a Flexible Spending or Healthcare Savings Account, in the form of a Visa Card, you can use either of these accounts to pay for services as counseling is known as a medical expense.

No, Omar does not charge late fees. You are still held responsible for paying the fee for his service as the day & time you scheduled was booked exclusively for you, and only you. Omar provides all clients with a grace period, where he is willing to render a partial session if you arrive no more than 15-minutes late. Please note, you will still be charged a full session rate and no added time will be added to this session.
Everyone is entitled to cancel/reschedule their session for whatever reason. All clients must contact Omar (phone call/email) to put in such request within 48 hours of their scheduled appointment. If this request is received before 48 hours, there is no fee. However, if request is received after this timeframe, you will be charged a cancellation fee that is equal to the cost of a full session.

Services

Everyone’s experience of therapy is different. Some find it useful while others struggle through the process of it. Because of this, Omar recommends trying one sessions to see whether he is a good fit for you. The key to success in therapy is not just about the techniques or strategies you learn, but also the relationship you have with your therapist. If you trust in their skills, knowledge and experience, than it will be easier for you to move through reflective conversations that may be hard to talk about. Therefore, Omar’s suggest you try one (1) session first to see if he is someone you are willing to work with. From there, he recommends attending to four (4) back-to-back sessions, so that you can build a momentum of progress in your treatment. After the 4th session, you get to decide if you want to continue weekly or biweekly sessions.

Prior to your session, Omar will email you his confidentiality & policy documents to review and sign. During the first few minutes of your initial session, Omar will go over some of the main points presented within the initial paperwork. After that, the rest of the session will be yours to use to discuss your hopes for services. At the end of the session, you will be given the option to either 

a) Schedule a follow up 

b) Take the week to think about whether you want to schedule a follow up or be referred to a different provider.

c) Decide that you no longer are interested in services altogether

Omar offers online therapy services, also known as telehealth. He uses an online video conferencing platform that is both encrypted and secured to provide protection towards your confidentiality. For Massachusetts residents, click here to learn more about the state policy on Distance, Online and Other Electronic Assisted Counseling.

Therapy is about having a safe space to share, reflect and discuss the different issues that people go through. Unfortunately, there are times when information that is shared may be connected to issues pertaining to risk &/or safety. Massachusetts licensed therapists are bound to state laws and professional ethical codes that govern them to take necessary steps when they receive reports of abuse, neglect, self harm or harm to others. Due to these regulations, Omar is considered a mandated reporter. As such, if he becomes privy to information pertaining to risk &/or safety, he is mandated to report these statements to either state department agencies, emergency providers &/or local law enforcement. This must be done in an effort to enhance you and your loved ones safety, while minimizing potential future risk.