how do I find a counselor that takes my insurance?

hello all,

this is my first time with my own insurance (i.e., not through my mom) and i am confused about a couple of things. i have an hmo plan from bcbstx that starts on 1 feb.

do I need a referral from my pcp to see a counselor to use my insurance?

I'm asking because i might not be able to see my pcp until march because bcbstx messed up. i selected a pcp during my application process, but when i received my card in the mail the pcp was different. I contacted bcbstx to get it changed and they said that I should receive a new card in 7-10 days, but that it won't take effect until March.

i am desperately in need of mental health care and don't think I can wait that long. what are my options? should I see my selected pcp in feb and just pay cash? should i see the doctor on my card?

also, how do I go about figuring out if the counselor I want to see takes my insurance. should I call my insurance first, or the counselor? her website says that she takes bcbstx, but I don't know if she takes all plans or just ppo or whatever.

im so confused and any help would be appreciated.

submitted by /u/NeighborhoodBookworm