Jump over the site's section navigation.

Off Campus Referrals

Sometimes students prefer to see a counselor off-campus. Off-campus providers often have evening or weekend hours, and might be available for more long-term counseling. Student Counseling Services' Case Manager assists students with arranging off-campus care. Our Case Manager has extensive information and knowledge about the various services and agencies available on campus and within the Bloomington-Normal community. The case manager can:

  • Assess they types of assistance and services needed
  • Link students with campus and community resources
  • Assist you with finding the best fit referral
  • Talk with you about your insurance coverage benefits
  • Offer support and guidance
  • Help you schedule the first appointment
  • Follow up with you to make sure you're getting the help you need.

If you would like to meet with the SCS case manager, contact Student Counseling Services at 309.438.3655.

Students can also contact community providers themselves. The following tips can help students find the counselor that is right for them. Often the first step is to clarify whether you want to use your insurance or to pay out-of-pocket. If you want to use your insurance, call the 800 number on the back of your card to call for "Mental Health Benefits." They will ask you for your ID # off the front of the card. Ask them what your "Outpatient Mental Health Benefits" are. They should be able to tell you if you will owe a deductible or co-payment for visits and how many visit you will be allowed per year. Then ask for a listing of names of therapists and/or psychiatric services in the 61761 zip code. Make sure to get more than one or two names, as you may need to call several different people. They may also give you a website on which you can look up this information.

Suggested questions for your insurance company

  • Which mental health practitioners (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, licensed counselors) does my policy cover?
  • At what percentage does my policy cover services? (Typically policies cover anywhere from 50%-80% of your per session cost.)
  • Does my policy have a session limit? (Some policies have a session limit; other policies have a limit on the total amount of dollars that they will pay for outpatient psychotherapy. Once you reach that amount, they will no longer provide coverage until your policy renews for the next year.)
  • Is there a deductible? (Most policies have deductibles – how much you will need to pay out of pocket before the insurance coverage begins. It your policy has a deductible, ask what it is and if you have met any or all of it.)
  • Do I have any "out of network" benefits? (This information will help you decide if your insurance will cover you when you see a provider who is not on their panel. Sometimes the insurance will still cover a portion of the fee and this gives you more flexibility to see someone who has been recommended to you.)

The second step is finding a counselor who is experienced with your presenting concerns and a good fit for you personally. If you have a list or providers from your insurance company, call several of them and ask the following questions:

When contacting a therapist, consider asking these questions:

  • I am struggling with __________________ and I am looking for a counselor/psychiatrist. Do you have experience working with those concerns?
  • What is your approach to working with _____?
  • Where is your office located? Can I get there via public transportation?
  • What day and times are you currently available?
  • Are you currently accepting new clients? How soon would an appointment be available?
  • What are your fees? ($80-$150 per session is the range of standard fees.
  • Are you an in-network provider for (state the name of your insurance)? Will you directly bill my insurance company?
  • Do you offer a sliding scale for students who are not insured (if you don't have insurance)
  • Do I have to pay "up front" for services?

When you call, talk to the therapist personally if possible. Indicate that you are looking at possible therapists and gathering information to make a decision. Be ready to leave your phone number and a time you can be reached in case the therapist is unavailable when you call. It is important that you choose a therapist with whom you feel comfortable and at ease, since your treatment will involve working together as a team. Before you contact a therapist, clarify what qualities you prefer in a therapist (warm, caring, straightforward, honest, gentle, etc. and if you have any other preferences (e.g., Gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious orientation).


For students covered by the Student Health insurance plan, coverage for outpatient mental health services is 80% for up to 45 sessions per policy year. There is a $50 deductible per policy year, which is waived if you have other health insurance. All claim requests are processed through Illinois State University Student Insurance office. In order to insure that your visit is covered, please fill out and return any paperwork sent to you by Student Health Insurance related to your claim. If you do not, you may be responsible for the entire cost of the visit.

2018-01-30T10:31:55.598-06:00 2018