How much does a psychiatrist cost without insurance?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a psychiatrist cost without insurance?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a psychiatrist cost without insurance?

$250 – $500average cost without insurance (initial evaluation)
$80 – $250average cost without insurance (follow-up visit)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$250 – $500 average cost without insurance (initial evaluation)

$80 – $250 average cost without insurance (follow-up visit)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Kristen Cramer
Written by
Kristen Cramer
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Tamatha Hazen
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Tara Farmer

Psychiatrist cost without insurance

The average cost of a psychiatrist visit without insurance is $250 to $500 for an initial evaluation and $80 to $250 for a follow-up visit. The cost to see a psychiatrist depends on your location, whether you see an MD or psychiatric nurse practitioner, and the treatment type and tests received.

Average cost to see a psychiatrist - Chart
Average cost to see a psychiatrist - Chart
Average cost to see a psychiatrist
Visit type Average cost without insurance
Initial evaluation $250 – $500
Follow-up session $80 – $250

Initial consultation & evaluation

An initial consultation with a psychiatrist costs $250 to $500 without insurance and lasts 45 to 90 minutes on average. During this visit, the psychiatrist will ask questions to learn more about your medical and family history, mental and physical symptoms, and concerns.

The psychiatrist may also prescribe lab work or additional psychological assessments to help them make an accurate diagnosis.

By the end of the first or second visit, the psychiatrist will provide a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. The treatment may include medications, therapy, lifestyle changes, or a combination of these approaches. The psychiatrist may also refer you to other specialists if needed.

Follow-up visit

A follow-up visit with a psychiatrist costs $80 to $250 without insurance. These visits are typically shorter than the initial evaluation, lasting 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the treatment plan.

During follow-up appointments, you'll discuss how you're doing, how the medications are working, whether to change medications or adjust the dosages, and how any other prescribed treatment methods are progressing. The psychiatrist will make changes to the treatment plan if needed.

Additional costs

Depending on the diagnosis and treatment plan, you may also encounter additional costs for other testing or treatments, including:

  • Prescription medications

  • Lab work and other physical health tests

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), or behavioral therapy

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy

  • Biofeedback or neurofeedback therapy

  • Genetic testing

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Psychiatrist cost with insurance

The cost of a psychiatrist visit with insurance depends on the insurance plan, coverage terms, and the individual psychiatrist's rates. These factors impact your out-of-pocket cost:

  • Co-pay – A co-pay is the flat fee you must pay to visit a healthcare provider. The amount varies from free to $100+, depending on the insurance company, plan, and type of treatment or service.

  • Coinsurance – Some plans require patients to pay a coinsurance amount instead of a co-pay. The coinsurance amount is a percentage of the healthcare provider's total visit fee.

  • Deductible – A deductible is the minimum amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance covers any medical costs. If you have not met your annual deductible, you'll be responsible for paying the full cost of the visit and any additional treatments the psychiatrist prescribes.

  • In-network vs. out-of-network – A visit with an in-network psychiatrist costs much less than seeing an out-of-network provider that doesn’t partner with your insurance company.

  • Referral – Some insurance plans require patients to get a referral from their primary care physician before seeing a specialist. If you need a referral to see a psychiatrist, you'll pay a standard co-pay or coinsurance fee to see your primary doctor first.

A woman talking with a psychiatrist
A woman talking with a psychiatrist

What is a psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is a licensed medical doctor (MD) who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions, emotional disorders, and behavioral disorders. Psychiatrists can order a wide range of medical tests and psychological assessments to help them make a diagnosis and determine the best treatment approach.

When to see a psychiatrist

Consider seeing a psychiatrist if you're suffering from a mental health condition that negatively impacts your life, such as feeling sad all the time, experiencing panic attacks, having difficulty focusing, or dealing with an eating disorder.

Psychiatrists commonly diagnose and treat these conditions and more:

  • Depression or apathy

  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm

  • Anxiety or panic attacks

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) / Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

  • Eating disorders, including Binge Eating Disorder, Anorexia Nervosa, and Bulimia Nervosa

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Complex PTSD

  • Schizophrenia

  • Insomnia, nightmares, or other sleep problems

  • Substance abuse or addiction

What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor and can prescribe medication. A psychiatrist conducts an evaluation, makes a diagnosis, and develops a treatment plan that may include medication, therapy, or other approaches. However, many psychiatrists don't offer talk therapy and will refer you to a psychologist for that service.

In comparison, a psychologist is not a medical doctor and cannot prescribe medication. Psychologists and licensed therapists can diagnose disorders like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or phobias and provide talk therapy, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), and other psychotherapy treatments.

Factors that affect the cost of a psychiatrist visit

Insurance coverage has the biggest impact on the cost to see a psychiatrist. If you have insurance that covers psychiatric treatment, you'll be responsible for only the co-pay or coinsurance amount after meeting your annual deductible. Individuals without insurance must cover the entire cost out of pocket.

Other factors that impact the cost include:

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  • Psychiatrist's experience – Psychiatrists with additional training and education or an established clinical practice often charge more than new psychiatrists due to the higher demand for their services.

  • Specialty – Psychiatrists who specialize in treating certain conditions often charge more but are more familiar with the symptoms and challenges that come with those conditions.

  • Psychiatrist vs. psychiatric nurse practitioner – Psychiatrists typically charge more than nurse practitioners. Both can make a diagnosis, prescribe medication, develop a treatment plan, and order lab work or other tests. However, some states require nurse practitioners to work under the supervision of a psychiatrist.

  • Location – Psychiatrists' hourly rates are highest in major metropolitan areas like New York City and Los Angeles. Though most psychiatrists now offer virtual appointments online, regulations limit doctors to treating patients located within states where they are licensed to practice.

How to find an affordable psychiatrist

Many healthcare providers offer other options to make psychiatric treatment more affordable. Look for these ways to save money:

  • Discounts & cash-pay prices – Ask if the psychiatrist offers reduced rates for uninsured patients or individuals with high-deductible insurance plans. Some psychiatrists offer discounts if you are paying out of pocket for the full cost of the visit.

  • Sliding-scale rates – Some mental health practitioners offer sliding-scale rates based on income for uninsured patients. Ask your psychiatrist about this option, as many practices offer it, but don't mention it on their website.

  • Prescription discounts – To save money on prescription costs, look for discount cards from the pharmaceutical company or opt for generic medications when available.

  • Low-cost clinics – Clinics in some communities offer mental health care at a reduced price for uninsured or low-income residents.

  • Student health services – Many colleges and universities provide free or reduced-cost mental health services for students.

Psychiatrist FAQs

Can a psychiatrist prescribe medication?

Yes, a psychiatrist can prescribe medication. Your psychiatrist will determine whether medication will be beneficial for your condition, and if so, will develop a treatment plan that includes ongoing medication management.

Many psychiatric medications require titration—starting at the lowest introductory dose and gradually increasing to an effective maintenance dose—along with regular monitoring. This requires periodic follow-up visits with the psychiatrist and may also involve lab work.

Do psychiatrists prescribe medication on the first visit?

After conducting an evaluation and making a diagnosis, a psychiatrist may prescribe medication on the first visit as part of a treatment plan. However, some patients require additional assessments or lab work before receiving a prescription.

How long is a typical psychiatrist visit?

A psychiatrist visit lasts 45 to 90 minutes for the initial consultation and evaluation. The psychiatrist may ask you to fill out questionnaires and complete online or written assessments before your scheduled appointment. Follow-up sessions last 15 to 30 minutes on average.

Do you need a referral to see a psychiatrist?

Most HMO insurance plans require you to get a referral from your primary care doctor to see a psychiatrist. Many PPO insurance plans allow you to see a psychiatrist without a referral from a general practitioner. Check with your insurance provider for details.

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Is a psychiatrist more expensive than a therapist?

Seeing a psychiatrist usually costs more than a therapy session because psychiatrists are medical doctors with more extensive education and training. In comparison, therapy costs $100 to $250 per session with a psychologist, therapist, or licensed mental health counselor.

How to find a psychiatrist near you

When seeking mental health treatment, it's important to find a psychiatrist who makes you feel comfortable, respected, and understood. Follow these tips to find the best psychiatrist near you:

  • If you have specific mental health concerns—such as depression, attention deficit disorder, or an eating disorder—look for a psychiatrist who specializes in treating that condition.

  • Ask your primary care doctor for recommendations.

  • Read reviews from other clients on Thervo and Google.

  • Confirm the psychiatrist accepts your health insurance.

  • Ask about co-pays and other treatment fees.

  • Schedule an initial appointment to make sure you're happy with the psychiatrist's communication style and empathy.

Questions to ask a psychiatrist

Before establishing yourself as a patient, ask the psychiatrist these questions:

  • What are your qualifications and areas of expertise?

  • Have you treated other people with this condition successfully?

  • What treatment methods do you offer?

  • Will the treatment plan involve other specialists?

  • What improvements can I expect, and when?

  • Can you prescribe medication if needed?

  • What are the side effects of the medication?

  • What happens if I discontinue my medication abruptly?

  • Do you accept my insurance? If yes, do you bill the insurance company directly?

  • Do you offer discounted or sliding-scale rates for patients without insurance?

  • Do you offer virtual or telehealth appointments?