Hypnotherapy is likely something that you’ve heard about – we all have – but you may not really know of its benefits or why people may turn to this type of therapy.
It has been shown that hypnotherapy has various benefits to those who participate in it, many of them actually backed by science. Does this make a mainstream form of health care? And if so, is it covered by insurance or even by Medicare?
Many people may wish to try this form of therapy for its benefits but are unable to pay for all or some of the cost involved.
In short, hypnotherapy is typically not covered by Medicare but it may be covered by certain private or extended coverage benefits. Here’s what you need to know.
Hypnotherapy And Medicare Coverage
As mentioned, it’s very typical for Medicare to deny coverage for hypnotherapy treatment. There is, however, a billing code within Medicare for this type of therapy so they can do it, it’s just generally not covered.
So, when would it be covered? It’s usually only covered for a certain diagnosis that’s covered by the plan.
For example, let’s say a patient lives with chronic pain and that condition is covered under their Medicare plan. Then that same person gets a prescription or referral from their doctor for hypnotherapy as a way to help with pain management then the hypnotherapy treatment would be covered under their Medicare plan.
This same type of prescription could be used for people who live with anxiety as hypnotherapy has been shown to help with managing anxiety.
Further, when it comes to Medicare Part B, they cover outpatient mental health services and treatments. So if hypnotherapy is prescribed as part of your outpatient mental health treatment then Medicare may help to cover some of the costs associated with that.
Since hypnotherapy is still looked at as an alternative type of medical treatment, it might be most advantageous to look at Medicare Part C plans – also known as Medicare Advantage. These types of plans are known to provide more coverage for alternative therapies and treatments.
The best thing you can do if you have questions about coverage with Medicare is to speak with Medicare directly. They may require you to get the prescription/referral from a Medicare approved doctor before you start your hypnotherapy sessions.
If you don’t get the approval before a doctor starts billing Medicare for it, then chances are the claim will be denied and you will not be covered for some or all of the costs associated.
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Hypnotherapy And Private Health Coverage
For the most part, private health benefits will cover hypnotherapy if it is deemed medically necessary.
Conditions like chronic pain, anxiety, depression, sleep issues, smoking and even obesity can be approved for medically necessary hypnotherapy.
Now most private insurance companies are not going to cover the whole cost of receiving this treatment, but people with private coverage can expect to have their benefits cover between 50% and 80% of the bill.
In some cases, private insurance will cover hypnotherapy with conditions attached. One such condition might be that they will only cover it if the hypnotherapy is being used along with another form of treatment like cognitive behavioral therapy (or another kind of psychotherapy).
There are still a few insurance companies out there that consider this an experimental form of treatment, and so they won’t cover any of it at all.
If you are considering hypnotherapy as a type of treatment, then it is always best that you speak with your insurance company before starting any form of treatment. You may need to get a prescription or referral from your family doctor and get it approved before starting the treatment.
Make sure you get all the information from your doctor and your insurance company before starting this type of treatment. That way you know exactly what to expect and you know how much the treatment costs plus what will be covered.
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How Does Hypnotherapy Work?
During a session of hypnotherapy, the patient will be guided through a process that will put them into a trance-like state.
Being in this mental state can help a person be more open to suggestions and help them to focus their minds.
Most hypnotherapy sessions will use the following techniques
Most people will be guided by a hypnotherapist into a state of peacefulness and very deep relaxation.
For whatever the issue is you’re struggling with, your hypnotherapist will make suggestions to change behavior that can help you with managing the issue.
There are certain coping skills and techniques that your hypnotherapist may be able to teach you while you are in the hypnotic state of mind. These techniques will stay with you when you come out of the hypnotic state.
Exploring Past Experiences
When it comes to managing a certain behavior or issue, your hypnotherapist may ask you to explore the first time you can remember experiencing this.
Going back and working through this can help to determine why you may have started and what behaviours you experienced when it started. You may not be able to remember this, but exploring in your sub-conscious can bring back memories and experiences you didn’t know you had.
Is there anything you can do if you can’t afford professional hypnotherapy?
When you feel like you’ve exhausted all your other options, but your insurance just won’t cover this type of treatment you may not know what to do.
While hypnotherapy doesn’t have many known negative side effects, paying for it can become very expensive very quickly.
If your insurance isn’t going to cover it, or won’t cover enough to make it affordable for you there is another option so that you can benefit from the positive impacts of hypnotherapy: smart phone apps.
There has been a number of hypnosis apps developed for use at home that many people can benefit from. There may still be a cost involved with using them – like a subscription – but the cost is almost always significantly less than receiving traditional hypnotherapy.
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The major upside to using these apps is that you can use them as much as you want while only paying the one time subscription fee, and that fee is often less than just one hypnosis session.
This makes hypnotherapy affordable and something you can do in your home, on your own schedule. From managing anxiety and depression to getting help with smoking cessation or weight loss, using these hypnosis apps can really have some positive impacts on anyone’s life.
Are Hypnotherapy Apps The Same As An In-person Session?
Using these apps you will receive hypnotherapy from successful and accomplished hypnotherapists.
They will use the same tools and processes over the apps as they would use when you’re doing an in-person session.
They record the session so you are listening at home, and you will still be induced to a hypnotic state of mind where they will begin making suggestions to your sub-conscious which helps guide you to productive thoughts and changed behaviors.
Many people report that they feel the same benefits when using the hypnosis apps as they do when they attend a session with a hypnotherapist in person.
In fact, many of the apps will offer tailored sessions that help with exactly what you’re looking for. If you need help managing anxiety, most apps will have a whole library of hypnotherapy sessions that are designed to help specifically with that.
Using these apps can also save you the time and headache of going through your insurance company (or Medicare) if you are having a hard time getting them to approve this type of therapy and treatment for you.
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Is Hypnotherapy Really That Great?
People who are living with chronic pain conditions, anxiety, depression or even can’t quite smoking have reported positive impacts of having hypnotherapy in their life.
This, like almost any treatment, will not have the exact same results for everyone however many people do report having some positive impact while others have massive benefits to their lives.
Hypnotherapy can help people with relaxation, focus and awareness within their conscious lives.
For those who are looking for help with managing anxiety and depression, hypnotherapy has been shown to be most effective when it is used in conjunction with other forms of treatment like cognitive behavioral therapy and other psychotherapies or even medications.
If you haven’t had much success with the more traditional paths of treatment for the condition or issue you’re living with then hypnotherapy may be a great option for seeing some changes.
The great part about this type of treatment is that you don’t necessarily have to go to an in-person session and pay the same fees (especially if your insurance won’t provide any coverage). There are numerous smart phone apps that can be used that only cost a small amount in a subscription fee with unlimited use.
Additionally, these apps often have focused sessions on the areas you want to work on so that you are getting a personalized experience. If you aren’t sure which app is right for you, there will be reviews added from real users to let you know what they thought of the app and whether it’s worth the money.
With very few, if any, negative side effects it may be worth it for you to give hypnotherapy a try.