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10 min read

Cost of a Psychiatrist Without Insurance

Written by Klarity Editorial Team

Published: Dec 2, 2022

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Zoe Russell

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How much does a psychiatrist cost without insurance? The out-of-pocket cost of mental health services in the US is quite high.

Plus, beyond the actual cost of the appointment, you also have to budget for other expenses that will be quite costly without health insurance—consider lab work or medications you’re prescribed.

So, what are your options?

In this article, we’ll break down the cost of psychiatric treatment without health insurance, so you know what to expect. We’ll discuss—

  • What out of pocket costs are for various mental health services
  • What factors go into the cost of a psychiatrist without health insurance
  • When you should see a psychiatrist
  • Low-cost alternatives to in-person psychiatric visits and brick-and-mortar mental health services

At Klarity, we believe in your access to mental health professionals shouldn’t depend on whether or not you are covered by an insurance company. All people—regardless of insurance coverage or economic background—should be able to access mental health resources.

On Klarity, you don’t need the approval of an insurance company to improve your mental health condition. All you need to do to meet with a healthcare provider who can diagnose mental illness and prescribe medication is book an appointment on our platform.

Then, we’ll connect you with a healthcare provider in 48 hours or less.

General Ranges For Mental Health Treatment Costs

Expect the following general ranges for out-of-pocket costs of mental health care services:

  • Psychiatric evaluation/initial consultation: $150 – $500 per session
  • Psychotherapy/counseling: $100 – $200 per session (may vary widely depending on the therapist’s credentials and location)
  • Group therapy: $30 – $80 per session
  • Medication management: $50 – $200 per session
  • Inpatient mental health treatment: $500 – $2,000 per day (costs can be higher depending on the facility and level of care)

Psychiatrist Cost Without Insurance: Other Factors You Need To Consider

You must factor in additional or hidden costs that may not be immediately apparent. Some of these costs may include:

  • Lab work costs: If your psychiatrist orders any lab tests, such as blood work or imaging studies, there may be additional costs associated with these tests. While the psychiatrist’s fee may not include these costs, you should be prepared to cover them.
  • Prescription costs: If your psychiatrist prescribes medication, you will need to factor in the cost of the medication itself. The cost of prescription medication can vary widely based on the type of medication, whether it’s a brand-name or generic drug, and any available discounts or assistance programs.
  • Commute time and transportation costs: Traveling to and from appointments may incur costs related to fuel, public transportation, or parking fees. Additionally, the time spent commuting to appointments should be considered, as it may impact your work schedule or other daily activities.
  • Missed work or lost wages: Attending appointments with your psychiatrist may require you to take time off from work, resulting in lost wages or the need to use personal or sick leave.
  • Frequency and duration of treatment: The number of appointments and the length of time you’ll be engaged in treatment can impact the overall cost. Some mental health conditions may require more frequent or long-term care, resulting in higher costs over time.
  • Additional therapy or support services: In some cases, a psychiatrist may recommend supplementary therapy or support services, such as psychotherapy, group therapy, or specialized treatments (e.g., EMDR, DBT). These services may have additional costs.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses: Depending on your financial situation and the specific treatments you receive, you may have other out-of-pocket expenses, such as costs for over-the-counter supplements, self-help materials, or complementary and alternative therapies.

Licensed providers on Klarity provide personalized treatment. Find a provider that matches your needs and preferences.

Factors that Affect The Cost of a Psychiatrist

There are several factors that contribute to the cost of psychiatric treatment. Understanding how factors like location, various behavioral health services, and a patient’s treatment plan impact the total cost of psychiatric care will help you make the best choices when seeking outpatient mental health services.

Here are several factors that can affect the cost of seeing a psychiatrist:

  • Location: The cost of services may vary depending on the geographic region or city. Typically, urban areas with a higher cost of living will have higher fees for psychiatric services compared to rural or less expensive areas.
  • Experience and qualifications: A psychiatrist’s level of experience, education, and qualifications can impact their fees. A psychiatrist with more years of experience or specialized training may charge higher fees for their services.
  • Type of service: The specific services provided can affect the cost of seeing a psychiatrist. For example, an initial consultation may be more expensive than a follow-up appointment or medication management session.
  • Sliding-scale fees: Some psychiatrists offer sliding-scale fees based on a patient’s income or financial situation. This can make psychiatric services more affordable for individuals who may not have health insurance plans or have limited financial resources.

When Should You See a Psychiatrist?

You should seek out psychiatric care when you’re experiencing mental health issues like anxiety, depression, insomnia, ADHD, bipolar disorder, OCD, eating disorders, PTSD, schizophrenia, and substance use disorders. 

Unlike psychologists who provide services like talk therapy, psychiatrists are doctors who can prescribe medications as part of a treatment plan. While medication isn’t right for everyone, a psychiatrist can diagnose your symptoms and craft a treatment plan for specific mental health disorders that can include a combination of therapy and medication. 

How Much Should A Psychiatrist Cost? Low-Cost Alternatives 

In-person psychiatric care may be inaccessible or cost-prohibitive, but you do have alternatives you can pursue to get more affordable treatment. You can look into the following to reduce costs.

  • Sliding scale providers
    • These providers offer their services on a sliding scale, which means you pay as much as you can afford. 
  • Reduced-cost clinics
    • Reduced-cost clinics serve their communities by providing mental health services at a lower rate. 
  • Generic prescription medications
    • When you’re prescribed medication, speak with your care provider about the possibility of taking the generic form, if available. Generic medications are often more affordable.
  • Other licensed providers
    • Seeking care from other providers, including nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, can help lower the cost. These individuals are certified and able to provide care and prescribe medications, but they may have had a different educational background than a traditional psychiatrist. 

While these options can help you find lower-cost alternatives, you may encounter longer wait times, or your medication may not be available in a generic form.

That’s why telehealth may be the best option for you to find a mental health provider and get the care you need, including medication refills without any surprises or hidden fees.  

Get Affordable Mental Health Treatment With Klarity—No Health Insurance Needed

If you have a mental illness, then access to mental healthcare is essential to your quality of life. Whether or not you are covered by an insurance company doesn’t change this fact.

Klarity makes it easy to connect with mental health professionals who can diagnose and prescribe medication online. Get started today to connect with compassionate providers on Klarity.


Alicia Woolridge. “How Much Does a Psychiatrist Cost Without Insurance in 2022?” khealth

Katelyn Haggerty. “How Much Does a Psychiatrist Cost?”

Lisa Esposito. “When to See a Psychiatrist” US News

Meghan Rice. “How Much Does a Psychiatrist Cost Without Insurance?” Talkspace

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