Mental Health Access Program (MHAP)
What is the MHAP?
SamaraCare’s policy is to ensure that its fees for mental health services are not a barrier to accessing care. The Mental Health Access Program (“MHAP”) was created, in tandem with our mission, to discount standard fees, using a sliding fee scale, so that mental health services are more affordable for individual, couples and families experiencing financial hardships.
The fee per visit is determined largely by the applicant’s household income and size. Other extenuating circumstances are also considered. Fee subsidies from the MHAP are contingent on client need as well as the availability of funds.
The MHAP does not cover the entire cost of mental health services. Clients will be responsible for paying a portion of their bill. The amount is discussed with their therapist and based on their ability to pay. We consider it an investment stake in their own or a family member’s recovery.
Acceptable reasons for a hardship consideration include:
- low/moderate household income
- long term/permanent disability or serious illness
- no health care insurance
- limited health care insurance due to a high deductible/high copay benefit plan (underinsured)
- exhausted benefits under the current health care insurance plan
- extenuating circumstances, such as
- recent separation/divorce
- subject of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
- subject of spousal abandonment
- death of the primary household wage earner
- extraordinary medical expenses
- personal bankruptcy
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a sliding fee scale?
The sliding fee scale consists of a schedule of discounts from our standard fee, based on household income and size, and adjusts the fee based on the client’s ability to pay. The Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) are used to create and update SamaraCare’s sliding fee scale which determines eligibility. FPG are published annually by the Department of Health & Human Services.
Who can apply for the MHAP?
Anyone who lacks insurance coverage or has limited insurance coverage or financial resources, to pay standard fees for mental health services, may apply for the MHAP.
Can I apply if I have insurance?
Yes, but you must utilize and exhaust any insurance benefits prior to submitting an MHAP application, unless your income is such that a further discount is warranted. In addition, the MHAP cannot be used for deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, or spenddowns as these are contractual obligations with insurance companies.
How is eligibility for a fee subsidy determined?
Eligibility is determined by household size and annual income for the household, any extenuating circumstance, a completed application, and proof of income.
How do I get an application for the program?
Applications are available on our website, front office staff, or through your counselor. To get a copy of the application, click here.
What type of documents do I need to bring to apply for the program?
You need to bring in proof of household income for all household members over the age of 18 and a completed MHAP application.
For the complete list of documents to bring, click here.
If there are items on the list that you do not have, please discuss with your counselor during the Intake appointment.
If I do not want to provide financial information, am I still eligible for the sliding scale discount offered through the MHAP?
No, eligibility for the MHAP is largely determined by your financial situation. If you choose not to provide this information, you will be selected as “Self-Pay” status and will be responsible for charges in total for all services during any visit to SamaraCare.
Who is considered a household member?
Household member refers to all persons related by birth, marriage, or adoption who reside together as well as dependents, and others in the same tax household.
Do I need to pay anything even if I don’t have any income?
Yes, as we are not a free mental health clinic. However, we offer affordable payment plans tailored to your individual situation depending on where you fall within the Federal Poverty Guidelines. We also consider extenuating circumstance irrespective of income and household size. The best way to fully understand our program is to talk with a counselor about your situation during the intake process.
When is the sliding fee scale subsidy effective?
The sliding fee subsidy, if you qualify, will backdate 14 days from the date which you submitted the application.
When does the sliding fee scale subsidy expire?
Sliding fee scale subsidies will expire at the end of the month, 1 year from the approval date.
You must re-apply prior to the expiration date in order to continue being covered by the MHAP. If there is a lapse, you may be responsible for the full amount of charges during that time period.
How often do I need to apply this program?
You must apply every year or if there is a change in your household income.
What services are covered under this program?
Sliding fee scale fee subsidies may be used only for in-person office visits or virtual (teletherapy) visits that include counseling and/or psychological testing and assessment services.
Sliding fee scale subsidies do not apply to missed or late cancel appointment charges.
How much will I pay of I am approved by the program?
The charge per visit will depend on your household income and size. Extenuating circumstance will also be considered. When you are approved for the MHAP, you will receive a letter that details your financial responsibility for services rendered. Payments are due at the time of service.
Who should I contact if I have more questions?
Please contact your counselor or the front office staff at 630-357-2456 or email us at [email protected]