Appointments - Dr. Ralph Whetstine

Accepted Insurance Plans

Blue Cross and Blue Shield PPO

If you don't see your insurance in the list of accepted plans, please consider that most insurance companies will provide payment for my services as an out of network provider.  If that could make a difference for you, give me a call and we'll talk.  There are a variety of ways the financial issues can be handled effectively.

Appointments for an initial consultation can be made by calling me at (708) 825-6108.  Each session is 50 minutes in length.  Initial consultation is to identify the nature of the problem and to determine whether the services I provide will be a fit for the solutions you’re seeking. 

Fees, Payments, & Insurance

Seeking counseling represents an investment of time and money in your process of personal growth.  Your financial commitment is similar in importance to other aspects of your life that we will examine together through the course of counseling.  We can discuss how to incorporate the costs of counseling into your monthly budget.


When you pay for your counseling in its entirety - and do not rely on insurance or other 3rd party payers - you maintain the most control over your privacy.  In most cases your counseling can be completely confidential in that you must give me permission to consult with another provider, institution, agency or individual in your life should the need arise.  We will discuss the few exceptions to complete confidentiality in this situation. 

An adjusted fee is possible and we can work together to identify a reasonable rate.  If you need to negotiate an adjusted fee in this self-pay situation, you may be asked to bring in copies of your most recent annual income statements as well as a recent pay stub (or quarterly filing statement if you are self-employed).  If you are supported by parents or a partner, you may be requested to bring in their information as well as for yourself in support of arriving at a reasonable negotiated rate.  We will consider you monthly bills in light of your income.  In light of this information we will discuss together a reasonably adjusted fee that fits into your budget  but also covers my services and time. 

Using Insurance

Many individuals pay for health insurance that includes coverage for psychotherapy.  If you wish to submit psychotherapy claims to your insurer you should complete some basic research before you get started.  This is especially important starting in 2011 due to changes in the federal law that provide for parity between medical and psychological services. 

Your insurance coverage will typically cover a portion of each appointment, and may require that you meet an annual deductible (that will typically be satisfied by the first counseling or physical health claims submitted in a given calendar year), and may require that you obtain pre-authorization for services.  It is important to recognize that your insurance policy may have coverage limits that do not coincide with the frequency or duration of treatment recommended for you.  In such cases, you are primarily responsible for the financial commitment associated with services not covered by your plan. 

If your insurer requires the completion of a pre-authorization form showing medical necessity before counseling appointments will be reimbursed, you and I will complete the form together.  In addition, I will discuss any insurer or other outside information requests with you before I release information about you.

My fee is $150.00 per hour.  Payment for professional services is the responsibility of the client.  Clients are expected to pay the fee at the time of service unless other arrangements have been made in advance.  I request that clients give 24 hour notice in advance of a scheduled appointment for cancellation.  Clients are responsible for sessions missed or canceled without 24 hour notice and will be expected to pay full fee without appropriate notification for missed or canceled sessions described above.   

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