Frequently Asked Questions
Chicago Compass Counseling FAQ
Frequently asked questions about Chicago Compass Counseling.
Q. Do you take insurance?
Yes. We are in-network with BCBS PPO and United Healthcare. We also have contracts with Lyra and Northwestern University. If you would like to use your BCBS PPO or United Healthcare policy, then we will do an initial benefits check prior to your first session to determine your payment responsibility.
Q. Can I pay for services out-of-pocket?
Yes. Private pay counseling is a desirable option if you value discretion and feel concerned sharing your information with health insurance companies. Our standard session rate starts at $160 per session. We also offer additional concierge options beyond a typical counseling experience to enhance your level of service.
Q. Can I schedule one in-person consultation to get feedback and consider my options?
Yes. All clients meet for an initial 80-minute consultation, which includes a collaborative assessment of your current situation, as well an in-depth understanding of your desired goals. At the end of your consultation, your counselor will offer you a menu of options, which will include resources and pathways for those who do not want to pursue further counseling. Our expert behavior change counselors work closely with you to determine the possible directions forward.
Q. Can I get reimbursement for using out-of-network insurance benefits?
Maybe. If your coverage is through an out-of-network PPO, your insurance likely covers out-of-network providers as well. Although this coverage may be at a lower rate, you may be eligible for partial reimbursement for our counseling services, making our counseling sessions more affordable than a fee-for-service arrangement. If you would like to submit claims to your plan, we will provide you with the necessary receipt of services for you to submit after you pay the session fee in full. Your insurance company would then mail you any reimbursement you are eligible to receive. If you would like to submit claims for reimbursement, we highly recommend calling your insurance company before your first appointment to determine your out-of-network benefits.
Q. If I use my insurance, will this affect my ability to get life/disability/health insurance in the future?
It might. We want you to make an informed decision about whether or not to use your health insurance. Insurance can make counseling significantly more accessible, but does involve longer-term risk. In order for insurance companies to pay for services,they need a mental health or substance use disorder diagnosis code, which becomes part of your permanent medical record - even in cases where the issue has been fully resolved. In some instances this may affect your eligibility life insurance, disability insurance, or health insurance in the future. If you plan to apply for insurance in the future, we strongly urge you to weigh the pros and cons of using your health insurance for counseling services.
Q. What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, checks, and credit cards, including FSA/HSA cards. In order to schedule, we do place an active credit card on file in order to reserve your appointment time. All payments are due on the date of service.
Q. How often will we meet?
We find that counseling is most effective when we start with weekly meetings. This continuity helps us move towards your goals more quickly. For some people, meeting more often is useful. Others find that monthly consultations or counseling as needed works best after completing an initial course of weekly counseling. We will always work with you to determine whether the frequency of our meetings is working well for you.
Q. How long will I be in counseling?
We believe that the goal of counseling is to help you get to a point where you do not need counseling. As specialists in behavior change counseling, our goal is to provide the highest quality counseling experience tailored to your needs. We offer a brief course of counseling where appropriate that is 12-25 sessions. We also offer longer-term counseling when it helps you move towards your goals. The length of counseling depends on your particular situation.
Q. I don't know if I can do weekly counseling. Do you offer intensive individual workshops?
Yes. We offer 3-hour intensive individual workshops for clients who want to better understand one area of concern and develop an immediate set of strategies for moving forward. Depending on counselor availability, as well as your goals, you and your counselor may determine an intensive individual session will help you reach your goals without requiring weekly meetings. We also offer individual workshop sequences that vary by counselor.
Q. What if I need to cancel my appointment?
We require 24-hours notice to change or cancel a scheduled appointment. You can manage your appointment using our Client Portal or by calling your counselor at (312) 715-8234 and then dialing their direct extension. Missed appointments and no-shows will result in a charge for the full fee of the session to the credit card you have on file with us.
Q. Will my sessions be confidential?
Yes. Many of our clients are highly visible professionals in the Chicago area. Confidentiality is key to how we work - even if one of our counselors is working individually with you and a different counselor on our team is working with your significant other at the same time. We prioritize your discretion and value the importance of your privacy in addressing sensitive topics. Your right to confidentiality will be carefully maintained and will not be disclosed without your written permission, except in cases of possible harm to yourself or others or in a judicial subpoena. Please note that if you are planning to use your insurance for counseling, your diagnosis and dates of service will be shared with third party payers, thereby decreasing confidentiality.
Q. What is your availability to meet?
Our practice is open Monday through Friday, from 8AM through late evening, with Saturday availability depending on the counselor. Call (312) 715-8234 to talk with our Intake Coordinator about counselor availability.
Q. Do you offer video counseling?
Yes. We provide secure video counseling sessions for clients who live in Illinois but find it more convenient to meet remotely. If you are interested in remote sessions, you and your counselor can explore this when you meet for your initial in-person consultation. Please note that remote counseling services may not be covered by your health insurance provider depending on the plan type.
Q. Do you offer email or text message support?
Yes. We offer email and text message adjunct services if you and your counselor mutually determine that this would be of help. Email and text message add-on services are billed to you as out-of-pocket services and are ineligible for insurance reimbursement in Illinois at this time. You can talk with your counselor at the initial consultation to explore whether or not this service could offer support.
Q. How do I get started?
You can schedule an appointment by calling or texting (312) 715-8234. Our Intake Coordinator will answer your questions and match you with the best counselor to meet your needs.