INSURANCE COMPANIES COVERING KETAMINE INFUSION THERAPY | FDA APPROVAL OF KETAMINE FOR DEPRESSION
Ketamine infusions bring hope to the hopeless. We’ve seen ketamine change the lives of patients who have entirely resisted other methods of depression treatment. Imagine if these depression treatments were more accessible to the sick and suffering?
At Vitalitas Denver, ketamine infusions cost $285, though the national average ranges from $400-800 per infusion. As of now – and most likely until ketamine is FDA approved for the treatment of depression – it is extremely rare for insurance companies to cover ketamine infusion therapy. Ketamine has been available as an analgesic for decades. It is an inexpensive, generic pharmaceutical without the promise of profit. Thus, the use of ketamine as a depression treatment hasn’t piqued the interest of any pharmaceutical companies willing to fund the FDA trials necessary for it to gain approval.
But there is hope. As recently announced by CNN and Janssen Pharmaceutical, an isolation of the ketamine molecule – esketamine – has officially been “placed on the fast track” for FDA approval as a treatment for major depression. Where generic ketamine is made up of two molecules that are mirror images of each other, esketamine is a formulation using only one of those molecules. It is claimed that esketamine results in the same positive treatment results, but – according to the manufacturers – is devoid of any hallucinogenic side effects, thereby carrying less stigma and being generally better tolerated by patients. If esketamine gains FDA approval, it will be the first new class of drugs for the treatment of depression approved in almost 50 years. More importantly, however, would be the amount of people to which this life-changing treatment would become available.
In the meantime, in rare circumstances, insurance companies have reimbursed up to 100% of the cost of ketamine infusion therapy. Be your own advocate – file a claim, stay vigilant and follow-up with your insurance company regularly. Vitalitas Denver provides its patients with all of the forms necessary to file an insurance claim for their ketamine infusions. You may also be able to download the proper forms from your insurance company’s website.
If your insurance company will not reimburse any portion of your ketamine infusions, many ketamine clinics offer financing to help you manage the cost of your infusions over time.
Hopefully soon there will be plenty of insurance companies covering ketamine infusion therapy. Until then, even if ketamine infusions are not in your budget, follow our blog to stay abreast of new ketamine research and developments in its journey for FDA approval.
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