I expect you to pay your portion at the start of each session unless you’ve made other arrangements. If you’re using health insurance, that means any deductible, co-payment, and co-insurance required by your health policy. If you’re paying out of pocket, that means my full fee, unless you have made other arrangements with me. I am willing to offer some fee reductions, based on income and circumstances, for current clients who are experiencing life transitions. If my fee is a concern, please discuss it with me. If I’m unable to accommodate your financial situation, I’ll provide you with referrals.

If you’re a college or high school student and your parent or guardian will be paying your fees, we will need to make a plan with you at the time of your first session about how that will happen. Our preference is for you to bring their payments with you to each session, but we are willing to make other arrangements if that is not feasible for your family.

Forms of Payment: We accept cash and checks, but we are unable to take credit cards at this time. George is usually in the office to accept your payment and give you a receipt; I suggest you arrive a few minutes early for this. When he’s not in the office, or if you’re meeting with me in my Elmira location, you’ll give your payment directly to me.

If you’re using health insurance: We offer you the courtesy of submitting claims to your insurance company on your behalf, whether I am in network as a participating provider or not, and George will vigorously pursue payment from your insurance company if they delay, deny, or “lose” claims. However, if his diligent efforts to receive insurance payment fail after three months of attempts, he will send you a bill for the sessions that the insurance company refused to pay for. (This may be after you have stopped coming to therapy sessions with me.) Ultimately, you—not your insurance company or any other person or company—are responsible for paying the fees we agree upon. If you ask me to bill a separated spouse, a relative, or an insurance company, and I do not receive payment on time, I will then expect this payment from you.

Late payments and balances: I understand that sometimes you may forget your checkbook or for some other reason not pay at the time of a session. Please pay the next time you come. George will check your account at the end of each month. If he finds that you’ve forgotten or neglected to pay for any sessions, he’ll send you a bill at the beginning of the next month. We expect you to pay that bill within two weeks. If we don’t receive payment from you by then, George will send a second bill with a late fee of $10 added to cover our administrative costs. If you don’t pay that within two weeks, he’ll add a second late fee of $20 in the next bill, for a total late fee of $30 to cover our administrative costs. I do not permit clients to carry a balance any longer than two months and if you are unable to pay your balance, we will discuss whether it makes sense to refer you or develop another strategy so that you can avoid incurring additional debt. Please let me know if any problem arises during the course of therapy regarding your ability to make timely payments.

“Library fines” fees: From time to time, I lend books, magazines, videos, or CDs to clients. If you borrow an item and don’t return it by the end of the lending period you and I agree upon, George or I will contact you to remind you to bring it with you. If you fail to return the item after repeated reminders, we will bill you for the full cost of replacing the item at regular retail price.

Fees for telephone and legal consultations: If I need to have long (more than 10 minutes) telephone conferences with other professionals as part of your therapy, I will bill you for these at the same rate as for regular therapy services. Unfortunately, insurance will not reimburse for those services. If you become involved in legal proceedings that require my participation, I will expect you to pay for my professional time and services. Because of the difficulty of legal involvement and the interruption to my regular practice, I charge $200 per hour for preparation and attendance at any legal proceeding. I will provide bills/receipts at the end of each session and expect to be paid upon receipt unless otherwise agreed upon.