Insurance Issues

Periodically we receive calls or emails asking whether or not we accept insurance. We do not, and here are the reasons.

First, insurance records are not confidential. When you submit a claim, or one is submitted on your behalf, the claim must include a diagnostic code which will identify you as an “alcoholic” whether or not you even are one – not that there is even any definition of what an alcoholic is.

Because there is no regulation as to what information insurers can share, your claim record then get circulated to other insurers, marketers, background checkers, and so on. With that label attached, you will be ineligible for many licenses, certifications, security clearances, life insurance, and medical insurance due to a “permanent” and “lifelong” condition.

If that wasn’t enough, insurance rarely covers more than a very small percentage of what most programs charge. Read the details of any admission agreement and you will discover that you agree to pay whatever the insurance doesn’t cover. Even with a preauthorization, most insurers will deny your claim or, at best, pay 10% or so of the cost, leaving you on the hook for the balance.

Finally, insurers will attempt to turn your claim into a fight between the provider and the client, claiming to each that they would process the claim if only… The “if only” comes out as telling the client that the provider has failed to submit the correct paperwork (which doesn’t exist), and telling the provider they can only talk to the client, citing “privacy rules” which, again, don’t exist.

That’s the first round of why we don’t take insurance.

Then comes the part about motivation.

Changing any habit pattern depends on your willingness to make the effort, endure the short term discomfort that change always brings, and learning new coping skills, activities, perspectives, and habits. That’s a lot less likely to happen if you aren’t willing to invest.

To put it as succinctly as possible, if you aren’t willing to invest in yourself, why would we invest in you?

The answer, obviously, is, we aren’t. Not when there are potential clients waiting who do value their privacy and are willing to make a modest investment in their future. Are you one of them? If so, we’re ready to hear from you.

Some discussion of “AA – Who it Helps, Who it Harms, Who it Kills & Why” has cropped up on Facebook.

The pros vs cons have been running about 100 thumbs up to 1 thumbs down. While this is, of course, gratifying, the occasional “con” is also instructive.

“$7.95 for 70 pages!” one person complained.

My response? “For $7.95 you can certainly find a 6-pack of cheap beer or a bottle of generic vodka to help you sort out your drinking problems and solutions. Be my guest.”

It is true that, including the “deprogramming” guide on the back cover, the guide runs to 70 pages. But it’s also true that those 70 pages are the condensed (dare I say “distilled”?) results of thirty years of research into areas untouched by any previous research.

In addition to showing why AA helps, harms & kills, it also shows how to approach those who – the majority – fall into the harm and kill categories.
To me, and to the people who actually read the research, that turns out to be a lot of interesting and valuable information for the outrageous (to those who haven’t read it and don’t want to be exposed to an idea) price of $7.95 as an eBook and $10.00 as a paperback.

Not surprisingly, the Guide reflects the work Dr. Barnes and I do with clients – brief, intense, effective and “all substance, no filler.” I’m a good writer and I long ago took all of those classes on both how to turn a paragraph into a page, or vice versa. I could easily have turned 70 pages into 200+ and forced you to winnow out the grains from the chaff. I chose to save you the bother.

It’s the same with the services we offer – effective, efficient, confidential, individual, and reasonably priced with both in-person and distance delivered options. And now, in addition to the extensive information available on our website ( you can learn about the foundation of our work for a modest $7.95. Or not.

In their classic book on the stages of change (“Changing for Good”), Prochaska, Norcross, and DiClemente note that the third Stage is Preparation. The preceding Stage is Contemplation. Moving out of “contemplation hell” as we refer to it, involves accumulating information – none of which will be found in the bottom of a bottle, as I learned some 35+ years ago.

Time for you to figure that out for yourself and begin preparing?