“Do You Take My Insurance?” What to Say When the Answer is No.

Ever had that awkward moment with a client?

You know – the one where they’re trying to decide whether or not to hire you, and the conversation goes something like this…

“Hey! I think I want to work with you. I’ve heard really great things about you and I know you can help me. I just need to make sure… Do you take my insurance?”

Ugh. No.

And if you’re not prepared, this is when your spirits sink, your self-talk turns negative, and business strategy goes right out the window.

I met recently with a new client who’d scheduled and paid for her initial consult on line. When she came in, we hadn’t even spoken yet, but we had a great meeting. I really liked her and was happy to work with her.

So at the end, I asked how she felt about being there. She said she loved it, and that she would have run to get there if she could. :)

Then her face fell a little, and she asked. “But you don’t take my insurance, do you?“
She knew that before she came, but she still had to ask. 

If you’re in any kind of private practice setting related to health, even if you provide a service not traditionally covered by insurance, people will ask. (Just in case!)

So you, too, need to know how to handle that question.

And today, I’ll walk you through exactly what to do.

There are 3 parts to your response, your “S.O.S.”

Because they’re asking for help, which you can provide, and that little acronym will help you remember what to do.

I want you to stand in your value, make an offer, and remember to serve.

Let’s take a closer look at each of those.

1. STAND in your value.

The first thing to do when someone asks this question is to answer it clearly, and directly. I want you to say it with confidence, with a smile, and without apology.

Take a moment to explain what led you to this decision, but be careful. Use this to inform and educate your client, not to apologize and justify your choice.

“No, I do not…and here’s why.”

You can talk about how long you’ve been doing this work, about your training and experience and the value you know you bring.

You could talk about the freedom they have when they can get help without a third party in the room.

You could say you believe they’ll get more out of the work when they’re willing to invest in their own well being.

If you want to accept insurance but can’t because you’re not yet licensed, you could say that for now, you can’t accept insurance, and that you will make that decision when the time comes.

If you offer Feldenkrais, acupuncture or some other service that is rarely covered by insurance, you could say:

“No, because insurance has never caught up with the good that this brings to the world, but I’m okay with that, because…”

The point here is to stand in your value, explain your perspective in a way that aligns with your core values…

…and don’t blink. :)

2. Make an OFFER.

Next, make them an offer that softens the impact a little. One of the best ways to do this is by offering them a package.

“No I don’t accept insurance, but I do have a couple of packages that could make this a little easier for you…”

If you offer a service that is usually covered, you could suggest that they may be able to use their health savings account (HSA) to cover the cost, or perhaps they have out-of-network benefits they can use for partial reimbursement.

Just be clear that they still have to pay you, and that yes, this is what you charge.

3. Focus on SERVICE.

Now, after all you just said about how you do things and how they could make this doable, invite them in to the work.

“So, would you like to set up your next appointment?”

Or your initial consult or your first meeting, whatever it is that you would usually say.

And then wait.

Allow a moment or two for them to sit with the decision – because growth is happening here.

If they say yes, get them on your calendar.

But if they hesitate, or say no, then offer to give them a couple of other names or resources that might be an alternative.

This is service.

This is also an act of abundance.

So there you have it.

I encourage you to to play with the language. Practice saying this out loud. Get comfortable feeling the words on your tongue.

Then go make it real.

Now over to you.

How have you handled this question in your own practice? And what usually happens?


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