twocents.lifehacker.com

Photo: jeffy11390 (Shutterstock) Finding the right mental health counselor or therapist isn’t as easy as finding the right dentist. Usually, you have to put in some work— feeling the counselor out to see if their methods will actually suit your needs. But once you’ve found someone you’d like to work with, there’s the inevitable issue of payment, which usually brings a host of logistical questions: Does the therapist accept insurance? If they do, are they in network? If you’re paying out of pocket, can you afford it? Healthcare in the United States being what it is (a for-profit hellscape), there’s a feasible workaround to help pay for mental healthcare that many people don’t use to their advantage: flexible spending or health savings accounts. What are FSAs and HSAs? Flexible spending account and health savings account are similar financial instruments, with some exceptions and caveats. Health savings accounts (HSAs) are options included in basically all major health insurance plans with large deductibles. If you’re enrolled in an employment-based healthcare plan, you can funnel some of your paycheck aside into one of these accounts, pre-tax, and use those funds to pay for deductibles, co-pays and other medical expenses. (If you don’t have employment-based health insurance, you can still deposit money into your HSA, though without the pre-tax luxury.) This means an HSA is essentially a rainy-day fund to pay for physical and mental health expenses—and the money remains yours even if your plan is terminated or you leave the job. An […]