How we estimate session costs, and why session costs may change

Updated

How the billing process works

You can expect the following steps for each session:

  1. A few days before your first session, we’ll verify your account has available funds by placing a temporary hold for your estimated session cost.
  2. After your session, we’ll cancel this hold and charge your payment method on file. For all future sessions, you won’t see any hold.
  3. Your insurer will review your claim. Although uncommon, your insurer may adjust the final cost based on plan details, like whether you’ve met your deductible.
  4. If you were overcharged, we’ll refund you the difference. If you were undercharged, we’ll send you an email and you’ll be automatically charged for the outstanding balance.

How we estimate session costs

Your session cost is our best estimate for how much you’ll pay, based on what we know today about your insurance plan’s benefits and your provider’s typical services.

We do our best to get this estimate right—based on our relationships with insurance companies and experience with hundreds of different plan types. The final cost usually matches or comes close to this number.

As a reminder, you can always keep track of your costs on your detailed benefits page.

 

Why your session cost may have changed

Occasionally, the final session cost will differ from our estimated cost. This is because there’s certain information we can’t know for sure—based on the way insurance claims get processed—until after you’ve attended your session.

A few common examples (click on each to expand and learn more):

Changes to your deductible or out-of-pocket max status

In a given year, plans usually require you to pay a set amount of money yourself before you reach a deductible or out-of-pocket max (dollar amount thresholds). We don’t always have immediate visibility into whether you’ve reached these thresholds, and sometimes our estimate is wrong as a result.

Resetting of your annual plan
When your plan resets at the end of the year, that can change your deductible status (see above). Also, if you select a new plan with different benefits (like a different co-pay or a higher or lower deductible), that can also change your benefits.
Details of your session itself
Our cost estimate might assume one type of appointment (such as a 45-minute talk therapy session), only for your visit to be different (such as a 90-minute session involving medical evaluation and prescription). Depending on your plan, different sessions like these can result in changes in the final cost.
Unexpected plan details

While we’re familiar with most insurance plans, some involve special circumstances, such as different coverages between an umbrella and subsidiary company. Sometimes, these details are not initially clear until we get final information from your insurer.

Inactive insurance

If your insurance plan resets at the end of a month, and you don’t update your plan details through Headway, it can result in an automatic charge for the full cost of care*. To avoid any additional charges, be sure to always have an active insurance plan on Headway. If you don’t have an active insurance plan, you can switch to private pay for future sessions.

* "Full cost of care" is defined as the cost that your insurance carrier determined is the client's responsibility for the session. You can confirm this cost through the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) provided by your insurance carrier.

 

How to know your session cost has changed

If your session cost changes for any reason, you will see this displayed on your detailed benefits page.

If your session cost changes as a result of Headway correcting previously incorrect benefit information, you will receive an email from us with additional details

 

If you were undercharged

Auto corrections

Auto corrections makes taking care of session cost adjustments as easy as possible, while offering the payment flexibility you need to continue care. With auto corrections, you’ll be automatically charged or refunded based on your insurer’s final cost, rather than having to remember to pay the additional charge.

It’s important to us that you know what to expect when it comes to billing and your benefits. By keeping your insurance information up-to-date on the Headway portal, we can ensure your claims are billed correctly, while also better monitoring & predicting upcoming changes that could impact your session cost.

How auto corrections work

  1. After your session, we’ll charge your session estimate.
    This is our best estimate for how much you’ll pay, based on what we know today about your insurance plan’s benefits and your provider’s typical services.
  2. Your insurer will review your claim.
    Although uncommon, your insurer may adjust the final cost based on plan details, like whether you’ve met your deductible.
  3. If your cost changes, you’ll be automatically refunded or charged the additional cost.
    We make tracking outstanding balances easy with auto corrections. This means we’ll automatically refund you if you were overcharged, or charge your payment method on file if you were undercharged. We’ll always notify you via email before your card is charged, explaining the amount that will be charged and why.

We'll send an email at least 3 days prior to charging for the correction, including the charge date, charge amount, and payment method we have on file.

If you have any additional questions about your outstanding bill(s), let us know.

Scheduled Payments

We understand that you may not be able to pay your outstanding balance in full right away. To reduce the financial stress of unanticipated corrections, you can utilize our Scheduled Payments feature.

We know that having payment flexibility is an important part of accessing care, so we created this to help you better manage payments towards outstanding bills.

How Scheduled Payments work

At least 3 days, and up to 14 days, before you’re automatically charged, you’ll be notified via email. From there, you’ll have the option to log in and schedule your payment(s) for a future date.

To schedule payments

  1. Log into your account
  2. Navigate to the Billing page
  3. Click on an individual session
  4. Under Alternative payment options, click Schedule payment
  5. Click on the calendar icon to choose a future date to schedule the charge
    • Please note: Payments can only be scheduled up to 1 month from the original charge date
  6. Once you’ve selected a new charge date, click Schedule payment
  7. If you have more than one payment you’d like to schedule for a future date, click into each individual session and restart from Step 3 above

If you need to reschedule your payment(s) for any reason, you can return to the Billing page and follow the steps above, starting from Step 3.

If you choose not to reschedule your payments to a future date, you’ll be automatically charged on the date stated in the notification email and on your Billing page.

If you were overcharged

In the event that we receive new information showing that you were overcharged after your insurer reviews your claim, we’ll automatically issue a refund.

If you believe you're owed a refund

If you believe you were overcharged, and need to be refunded, contact us with as much detail as possible. If you have an explanation of benefits (EOB) from your insurer that displays an overcharge, attach this to your message for the quickest resolution. 

 

What to do after Headway initiates a refund

Once we determine that you're owed a refund, and communicate that to you, you'll receive a confirmation email once your refund(s) are processed, which will include session information and refund amount. Once the refund has been initiated, you'll receive an email and it will be reflected on your statement within 3-5 business days. 

Learn more about what to do if your refund fails

 

Locating the actual incorrect charge and difference refunded

You should have received an email for each individual refund that was processed, which includes session information and refund amount. You'll receive an email and see your refunds reflected on your statement within 3-5 business days. 

If you'd like to view the specific appointments you were overcharged for in your account, you can scroll through your past appointments. Each appointment affected will have the word "overcharged" marked next to it in blue.

You'll be able to see the updated price, as well as how much you were refunded, for each individual appointment that you were overcharged for. You can also download updated invoices for each session from your past appointments page.

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