Advekit is a Venice-based mental health platform that was founded by Alison LaSov and Arielle Garellek to create a modern approach to finding the right therapist and lowering the cost of therapy. Photos by Chris Mortenson

Advekit is helping people get the mental healthcare they need

By Nicole Borgenicht

Alison LaSov and Arielle Garellek teamed up to create Advekit, a Venice-based mental health platform that streamlines the search for a therapist. At no cost to patients, signing up puts the task of insurance billing in Advekit’s hands, whereby the patient pays their part rather than in full upfront.

Additionally, opportunities for out-of-network doctors with lower costs by hidden insurance allowances is revealed through Advekit. For the therapist, there is a small fee when new clients become patients. This service reduces the challenge both therapists and patients have by ending or limiting sessions early due to payment issues.

As an industry professional, LaSov’s work and career inspired her to create Advekit.

“I am a licensed marriage and family therapist with 10 years of experience in the mental health space,” LaSov said. “My experiences as a clinician grant me unique insight into the pain points that both therapists and patients endure.”

Garellek is fully acquainted with issues on both sides, from seeking therapy to matching proper therapists for others.

“I have worked as a teacher and school principal, and I’d often be asked by parents and students for therapist referrals,” Garellek said. “That, along with personal experience looking for a therapist myself, made me very aware of the challenges we all face looking and paying for therapy. Now that we’ve worked with over 30,000 clients and thousands of therapists, Alison and I are always thinking of ways to make therapy more accessible to everyone.”

The company name came about in lieu of the work it takes to make getting the help needed easier. Someone must advocate for people, so they fit the role.

“We chose Advekit because we take a very active approach to normalizing therapy and advocating for people’s ability to find the care they need,” LaSov said. “Thankfully, mental health is more valued now than even just five years ago and people are willing to seek out help. Unfortunately, stumbling blocks around affordability and access still exist and that’s where Advekit comes in.”

In consideration of the Los Angeles tech markets, Garellek said, “LA has a growing tech scene that has a more desirable vibe than some of the larger tech markets, in our opinion, and we wanted to be part of that LA startup culture.”

Signing up is easy, and the time saved by not having to deal with finance-clarification communication or paperwork is sublime.

“Realistically, most people either stop therapy early because of cost or they get a stack of reimbursement forms (superbills) from therapists, and they forget to submit them, therefore losing out on money,” LaSov said.

“Advekit is taking care of the hassle of claim submission and only charging them what they owe, instead of asking patients to pay in full upfront.”
Moreover, out-of-network therapy is often considered out-of-pocket.

“By leveraging Advekit (at no cost to the patient) patients can use their out-of-network coverage that they likely did not know they had or did not understand,” LaSov said. “Insurance payers make these things intentionally confusing so that people don’t take advantage of their benefits. We are here to help patients see any therapist they want while also helping with cost.”

For the therapists, there are no upfront fees either.

“We do collect a small transaction fee after a therapist completes a booking through our platform, and that fee is inclusive of credit card processing and paying our billing team to submit claims, handling patient support, etc.,” LaSov said. “The large value add to therapists is that we help them retain their patients by assisting their patients with cost. Without Advekit, we know that most patients leave therapy before they are ready, due to monetary burdens.”