The reason I no longer accept insurance

I am continually honored to serve my community as a therapy provider. I hope to continue working in Charlottesville, Va. for many years to come. To continue providing quality care, I’ve decided to change the way my practice operates.


Effective August 1, 2021, I will no longer accept payments from third-party payers or submit claims to insurance companies (including Aetna, Anthem, and Cigna).


This decision stems from my desire to provide quality mental health care to my patients rather than cater to bureaucratic constraints. My commitment to each and every one of you will not change. I will still offer virtual, in-person and walk-and-talk sessions. The only change you’ll see will be slightly different rates for your care ($105/45-minute session).


Here are some of the benefits of private pay:


  • Empower clients to make their own decisions about their care. 

I firmly believe that decisions about type, frequency, and duration of treatment should be made between a practitioner and patient without bureaucratic interference. Insurers reserve the right to decide how long and how often people can see their therapist. This is based on the insurance policy, not patient needs or my recommendation. That means that insurance companies can simply stop paying for sessions if they want to.


Insurance companies also make value judgments about what type of care qualifies for coverage. This limits my ability to recommend treatments that I may see as beneficial, including things like Reiki, wellness retreats, spirituality, and more.


I want to offer the best possible care to my patients. And that means answering to you, not to insurance companies.


  • Increased confidentiality.

If an insurance company ever audits my records, they can access my notes from our sessions without your consent. This can become part of your medical record. By no longer billing through insurance, this breach in confidentiality will no longer be possible.


  • Affordable care.

Those who still wish to seek reimbursement from their insurance providers will be able to submit receipts of service for processing. I recommend checking with your provider about out-of-network outpatient mental/behavioral health coverage beforehand. This will give you an idea of what your new out-of-pocket costs will be.



I understand that therapy can be a big investment of time and money. Over the past few years, I’ve tried to reconcile insurance company practices with the needs of my clients. But as insurance policies change, deductibles, coinsurances, and billing codes often get in the way of quality care. 


Ultimately, I’m choosing my clients’ needs over the constraints of insurance companies.


To help you navigate this change, I’m hosting an Instagram Live/YouTube Live event on July 31st at 9am ET to answer any questions you may have.



Shea Graham LCSW

1 Boar's Head Lane, Suite B-3

Charlottesville, Va 22903

(434) 202-4155