Does My Health Insurance Cover Ketamine Therapy

The Secret to Getting Health Insurance to Cover Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine infusion therapy is a fast-growing solution to some of the most deeply entrenched mental health issues. However, a course of treatment can be quite expensive, causing many patients to reach out to their insurance providers to determine how much coverage they may have. One of the most common questions that patients have when they consider ketamine treatment is “Does My Health Insurance Cover Ketamine Therapy?” 

Want to Know The Secret to Getting Health Insurance to Cover Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine remains ‘off-label’, meaning private insurance and Medicare/Medicaid will most likely not approve infusion therapy sessions. However, Spravato, launched in 2019, is currently covered by every major insurance provider in-network. Spravato is an adults-only prescription medication used to treat depression that isn’t improving with the help of antidepressants. Spravato contains the drug esketamine, a more powerful derivative of ketamine that comes as a nasal spray. Esketamine is more intense than standard ketamine, so it can be offered in lower amounts and may have lesser side effects. You must take this treatment under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

Guide ketamine clinics - Spravato, which contains the drug esketamine,
Spravato, contains the drug esketamine, a more powerful derivative of ketamine which comes in the form of a nasal spray.

How Much Do Ketamine Treatments Cost?

Ketamine therapy costs can vary widely between clinics, practitioners, and conditions being treated. Generally, infusions will range in cost between $400 and $2,000. Mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and ADHD require lower ketamine doses and a shorter duration of infusion compared to treatment for chronic pains. For this reason, clinics generally charge more for pain management than for mood disorder treatments.

For the treatment of depression, a patient may undergo four treatments over the course of 1 to 2 weeks or 6 treatments over 2 to 3 weeks at an average cost of $400 to $800 per treatment. When treating pain, 2 to 8 infusions at an average cost of $700 to $2,000 per session are commonly prescribed; this higher cost and deeper therapy is required to ensure successful resolution.

Does Insurance Cover Ketamine Therapy?

Insurance coverage for ketamine treatment is today, a somewhat a murky topic. Since insurance providers do not pay for ketamine itself, many clinics bill your plan partly for the treatment while you pay the remaining cost. The total amount payable by you and your insurance will depend on the type of condition being treated and the number of sessions to undergo.

Do Medicare or Medicaid Cover Ketamine Therapy?

In short, it depends, and it is never complete coverage – but some costs for ketamine therapy may actually be covered by US federal programs. Medicare and Medicaid operate as a fee-for-service system, meaning that a healthcare practitioner gets paid when they deliver a treatment of some kind. Medicare/Medicaid plans do not cover the actual ketamine or its administration to the patient. But clinics will typically separate these items from other actions tied to your care, including the time you spend talking with your doctor and some of the costs involved in making sure you’re kept safe during the infusion (think heart monitoring, IV drips, etc). This coverage will also vary by state, as individual states are entitled to augment Medicare / Medicaid coverage.

The Future of Insurance Coverage for Ketamine Treatments

Given its breakthrough status for the treatment of serious mood disorders and pain management, it is somewhat surprising that most insurance providers are still reluctant to cover ketamine therapy. As its efficacy becomes more and more substantiated and patient and physician groups become more vocal, there is every reason to believe that the treatment will one day become fully covered for patients by most major coverage providers.

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About the Author

Jon is the CEO of He is a passionate believer in the transformational power of plant medicines and believes that the science can not be ignored forever, no matter how well-financed the opposition! Having visited more than 40 countries across the globe, nothing makes Jon happier than traveling to far-flung jungle locales to meet the kind-hearted people who are driving the psychedelic renaissance. Next up, Peru!

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