Ketamine, which was originally used as an anesthetic, has shown promising results in relieving symptoms of a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and OCD.
However, there is one important question for anyone embarking on this journey: Is ketamine therapy covered by insurance? In this blog, we will examine the complexities of ketamine therapy insurance coverage. We will further explore what are different elements of insurance coverage that impact whether people can get this potentially life-changing treatment and what other solutions are available to them.
What Is Ketamine Used For?
Ketamine was first used in the 1960s as an anesthetic for animals. In 1970, the FDA approved it as a human anesthetic. It was frequently used during the Vietnam War to treat injured soldiers on the battlefield.
Recently, ketamine has gained popularity for its therapeutic application in treating chronic pain and various mental health conditions. Ketamine therapy is a treatment that employs low doses of ketamine to relieve the symptoms of depression and many other mental health issues.
While most antidepressant medications work by increasing the levels of a chemical known as monoamines, ketamine works by increasing the levels of another chemical known as glutamate. The glutamate increases the connections between nerve cells in the brain. This process, known as synaptogenesis, is thought to influence mood and behavior.
Ketamine infusion is also thought to suppress inflammation-related impulses in the brain. Ketamine works in different ways to relieve pain through its anesthetic characteristics and decrease feelings of depression and hopelessness.
Ketamine is licensed as an anesthetic in the operating room at large doses. However, lower-dose ketamine is “off-label” to treat depression, pain, and other mental health conditions.
Off-label use is the legal usage of any medications by healthcare providers. This occurs when a doctor gives a patient a medicine to use other than the condition FDA approved it for.
A doctor may prescribe an off-label prescription for various reasons, including:
- The doctor believes it will be beneficial to the patient.
- The FDA-approved medicine for a certain illness may be too expensive or unavailable.
- There is no FDA-approved medicine to address a patient’s specific problem.
- The FDA-approved medication has not proven effective for the patient who is using it.
- Due to significant side effects, the patient is unable to use the FDA-approved medicine.
Types Of Ketamine
Ketamine can be used therapeutically in a variety of ways, including:
Ketamine Infusion Therapy
It is commonly administered intravenously in a hospital or clinic setting and lasts about 40 minutes. It is regarded as the most effective type of ketamine treatment since the body easily absorbs it.
Ketamine is injected into one of your larger muscles (thigh or arm), and the experience lasts approximately 40 minutes. It is also given in a hospital or clinic environment.
Tablets or pills are administered orally and can be administered at home or a clinic.
The FDA has approved the use of Spravato (esketamine) nasal spray as a therapeutic intervention for individuals suffering from treatment-resistant depression.
The administration of this treatment occurs inside a medical setting, typically in conjunction with the prescription of an oral antidepressant. It is necessary to undergo a two-hour monitoring period following the procedure in order to detect any potential adverse effects.
The Benefits and Risks of Ketamine Therapy
Research has demonstrated that ketamine can effectively treat depressive and anxiety symptoms in certain individuals, offering prompt and significant relief. The rapid effect is important, particularly for individuals managing severe or treatment-resistant diseases.
The effect of traditional antidepressant drugs is typically delayed, often requiring several weeks or even months to become effective. In contrast, the administration of ketamine has been associated with more rapid action, with observable effects manifesting within hours to a few days after the therapy.
Ketamine infusion therapy is regarded as an innovative therapeutic approach due to its sustained positive responses. Ketamine operates differently than conventional antidepressants, which primarily target correcting chemical imbalances and elevating serotonin levels within the brain.
In contrast, ketamine can potentially mitigate the detrimental effects of stress-induced neurochemical alterations on the brain. It enhances neuroplasticity by forming new neural connections hence alleviating symptoms associated with depression.
Low-dose Ketamine administration is associated with a reduced incidence of adverse effects compared to traditional antidepressants.
Although ketamine therapy has the potential to provide many advantages, it is crucial to acknowledge that this treatment may not be appropriate for all individuals.
Like any form of medical intervention, the utilization of this medication carries inherent risks and potential adverse effects. Individuals considering ketamine treatment must discuss their mental and physical health conditions with their consultants to avoid any negative impact.
Cost of Ketamine Therapy
The cost per infusion session for ketamine infusion can range from $350 to $1200. However, prices can vary depending on where you reside, the length of the program, and the type of facilities and specialized services you are interested in.
Numerous providers of ketamine infusion therapy offer various discounts and packages. But is ketamine therapy covered by insurance? These incentives, combined with potential insurance coverage, make treatment accessible and affordable for individuals with limited resources.
Is Ketamine Therapy Covered By Insurance: The Complex Landscape
Is ketamine therapy covered by insurance? Unfortunately, many insurance providers do not cover ketamine infusion therapy, despite its increasing utilization as a viable therapeutic approach for several mental health conditions.
The question of whether ketamine therapy is covered by insurance often arises due to multiple reasons: namely the lack of awareness of the drug’s effectiveness, the approval status by the FDA, and the experimental or investigational nature of ketamine.
Lack of Awareness
Despite the growing popularity of ketamine treatment, many people are still unfamiliar with ketamine therapeutic uses. Many people only know it for its use in the veterinary field or as a substance utilized for recreational purposes.
Interestingly, this lack of knowledge is not only true for the general public but also found inside the medical community. Due to this limited knowledge, ketamine may not have enjoyed the same level of recognition as certain other drugs. Many wonder, Is Ketamine Therapy Covered By Insurance? This curiosity also results in limited access to ketamine insurance coverage, and individuals often find themselves making out-of-pocket payments.
Ketamine is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drug as an anesthetic; however, it is used as an off-label drug for treating mental health conditions. It is important to note that regulatory laws classify ketamine as experimental or investigational medicine.
Consequently, medications falling under this category have less potential to be covered by any insurance company.
Nevertheless, the FDA has just approved ketamine nasal spray as an alternative treatment option for those who are experiencing treatment-resistant depression.
With this promising change, certain insurance companies are starting to recognize the potential advantages of ketamine infusion therapy and considering some aspects of ketamine infusion insurance.
Generally, pharmaceutical companies show minimum interest in generic medications like ketamine. A generic medicine is one where no pharmaceutical company possesses exclusive manufacturing rights for this drug.
Consequently, stakeholders have a minimum interest in spending financial resources on conducting clinical investigations on a generic medication.
However, these factors should not overshadow the potential efficacy of ketamine in managing treatment-resistant depression and other mental health disorders, provided it is administered responsibly by trained clinicians within specialized settings or programs.
Certain insurance companies are starting to recognize the potential advantages associated with the utilization of ketamine infusion therapy. With the growing inquiry, ‘Is ketamine therapy covered by insurance?’ many are keen to know if their insurance provider may provide full coverage for ketamine treatments or not. The landscape is ever-changing, so staying informed is crucial.
However, they may provide partial financial support such as consultations, mental assessments, and other supplementary services, while patients are responsible for covering the ketamine costs.
Nevertheless, obtaining approval for insurance coverage might still be a challenge. It is advisable to check with ketamine clinics that take insurance before beginning ketamine therapy. They may offer any form of coverage to help subsidize or cover the full cost of ketamine treatment.
The future of ketamine infusion therapy seems bright. It is only a matter of time before ketamine therapy is recognized as a treatment covered by insurance plans. Efforts are underway and will likely continue until a paradigm change is achieved.
Other Cost-Reduction Programmes for Ketamine Treatment
Other ways, such as HSA and FSA accounts or payment plans, can also help you reduce the cost of ketamine therapy.
Some clinics may offer discounts during their initial stages of development or to new patients. Before starting your treatment, it would be best to inquire about ongoing promotions and discounts.
Some clinics also offer a bundle of services. You should inquire whether they offer any packages that result in price reductions.
Flexible Payment Methods
Some healthcare providers offer monthly payment plans or other arrangements extending the treatment’s initial cost. This option can provide the immediate care you require while dividing out the cost over a longer period of time.
HSA/FSA Financial Accounts
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are tax-advantaged accounts that permit you to set aside funds for IRS-approved healthcare expenses. Account holders are frequently issued debit cards that can be used to pay for in-person or online services.
Ketamine infusion therapy has shown promising outcomes for those with mental health conditions. Nevertheless, the cost of ketamine treatment may be an obstacle for many people.
Most insurance companies do not provide coverage for ketamine as a treatment for its therapeutic uses primarily due to limited awareness, the absence of FDA approval, and its status as an experimental medication.
It is noteworthy that insurance companies do not provide full coverage for these therapies; however, there is an emerging trend of partial coverage for specific aspects of this treatment.
In addition to insurance, alternative funding choices, including financial plans and flexible payment options, can help you in this journey.
Insurance companies must adapt as the field of mental health care develops and take into account the potential advantages of cutting-edge treatments like ketamine. As questions arise, such as ‘Is ketamine therapy covered by insurance?’, individuals seeking treatment should advocate for themselves, collaborate closely with medical professionals, and investigate all available avenues to obtain the required care.
Ketamine Therapy At Neuroglow Clinic
Neuroglow Clinic is committed to maintaining world-class standards for intravenous ketamine therapy. We offer a variety of ketamine treatment programmes, with prices for a single session beginning at $375.
If you have insurance and wish to receive treatment comparable to ketamine, our clinic offers Spravato, an FDA-approved antidepressant for treating treatment-resistant depression. Please do not hesitate to contact us to determine if you are eligible for that.
We recognise that lack of insurance may be a significant obstacle for you. Consequently, we are dedicated to helping you throughout your journey, including facilitating a financing option.
We have partnered with Advance Care, which offers a quick and convenient method of financing for ketamine infusion therapy.
We will also assist you in obtaining a super bill that you can submit to your insurance provider for potential reimbursement.
We recognise that paying for medical care can be a financial burden and are available to assist our patients in any way possible. If you have any concerns about how to pay for ketamine therapy at our clinic, please do not hesitate to contact our staff.
Keep in mind that Ketamine treatment is an investment. It is an investment in oneself, one’s future, health, and relationships. Therefore, be bold, take the first step, and investigate the available options.
Contact Number: 1-800-975-3859
Is ketamine therapy covered by insurance?
Unfortunately, many insurance companies do not cover ketamine infusion therapy, despite its increasing use as an effective treatment for a variety of mental health conditions.
Will insurance cover ketamine therapy?
Ketamine infusion therapy appears to have a promising future. It is just a matter of time before insurance companies recognise ketamine therapy as a treatment that should be covered by their policies. It is likely that efforts will continue up until a paradigm shift is accomplished.
How to get ketamine infusions covered by insurance?
Some insurance companies are beginning to understand the potential benefits connected to the use of ketamine infusion therapy. There is a chance that the insurance company will not fund ketamine treatments fully, but they may offer partial funding for consultations, mental health evaluations, and other supplemental services. Patients are responsible for paying for the ketamine costs.
Before starting ketamine therapy, it is advisable to consult with your insurance company to understand what kind of funding is available for ketamine treatment.
How much does oral ketamine cost?
Oral ketamine therapy is the cheapest method, and its cost ranges between $75 to $200 per session or more, depending on the patient’s location, additional costs, and surcharges.
How much does nasal ketamine cost?
Intranasal sprays cost a little extra per bottle, starting at roughly $300.