Is Music Therapy Covered by Insurance?

Complementary approaches to mental health treatments, especially music therapy, have gained huge popularity in the modern world.

Music therapy brings substantial mental and emotional well-being benefits to individuals thanks to its unique elements of creativity combined with the ability to be therapeutic.

As the emerging practice continues to be deeply integrated into the healthcare system, which is known as especially complex in the U.S., is music therapy covered by insurance? Keep reading the article to get the answers to the main questions related to art and music therapy.

What Is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is a powerful and dynamic form of therapy with it`s long history that uses the strength of music and sound to promote emotional healing and development. It is eclectic and encompasses various interactions with music, such as listening to recordings, playing an instrument, and singing. Led by a professional music therapist, these sessions are orchestrated to stimulate emotions and memories, prompting a profound psychological reaction to the auditory stimuli.

At the heart of music therapy is the belief that music can have a significant impact on an individual’s emotional and psychological state. Listening to music has been shown to have a relaxing effect, reducing anxiety and stress levels in subjects. This facet of music therapy is particularly beneficial to individuals who are dealing with mental health issues, as it offers them a calming and safe venue in which to relax and contemplate.

While the demand for the music therapy profession is constantly rising, the cost of this type of service is becoming unaffordable for many potential clients. If your insurance company does not provide reimbursement for this approach, you can use no-credit-check medical financing. With bad credit medical loans, you can obtain up to $50,000 to cover the necessary procedures regardless of your credit score. Contact lenders and get detailed information about their financing offers.

What Is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is a distinct and transformative approach to mental health care. It melds the worlds of visual arts and psychotherapy, creating a modality that encourages individuals to channel and express their feelings, thoughts, and experiences in a creative and multifaceted way. Under the guidance of licensed professionals, this approach allows people to create and reflect during their healing process.

Art therapy encompasses many expressions—individuals might draw, paint, sculpt, or take photographs. A typical session, such as those led by Emery Mikel, founder of Water & Stone Creative Arts Therapy, could start out simply with a small drawing. This type of task facilitates a conversation between the therapist and the individual. Throughout the session, the therapist prompts and asks questions, offering them materials like crayons or watercolor paints if they so choose. This will help reveal emotions, thoughts, or areas of uncertainty.

The experience in art therapy goes beyond creation and inquiry, however. Mikel mentions that she and her clients end each session with a goal for the upcoming week—emphasizing the person’s progress and development.

Where to Find Art and Music Therapy Services?

Art and music therapists usually offer mental health counseling at various nursing centers, hospitals, and community organizations. Alternatively, you can get music therapy services at their private offices or participate in your local programs if the cost of art or music therapists is unaffordable. However, the increasing popularity of these alternative approaches results in numerous insurance companies partnering. Your private insurance may provide you with music therapy reimbursement.  

Music therapy services are available regardless of age, gender, and health status. Music therapists work with everyone who believes in the power of music therapy interventions.  

Benefits of Art and Music Therapy

Art and music therapy are known for their powerful effects on mental health treatment. Both approaches utilize the creative process and the act of creation (the work of art, the song), which can be especially helpful when the first symptoms of mental illness, such as loss of interest, low energy, and hopelessness, occur.

“Art therapy allows the patient to materialize their internal world,” stated Stephanie Gorski, an art therapy specialist in New York City. Creating tangible artwork allows individuals to process and communicate their often complex emotions and feelings, which are sometimes hard to put into words.

Gorski uses art therapy with children and adults who have depression, anxiety, or trauma histories, where it can foster personal insights and emotional growth, she explained. It provides individuals with a less confrontational and safe place to express themselves and begin breaking down their walls to expose their feelings, which they may not have words to describe yet.

The use of art therapy in the symptomatic treatment of unipolar depression and other mood disorders is well supported throughout clinical research. All forms of music therapy – whether it is creating or passively listening to music – have been shown to affect neurobiological and brain structures involved in regulating emotion in a similar way to other medications, thereby improving mood (symptoms of various types of clinical and non-clinical depressive conditions).

Of importance to mention is art and music’s potential as a way to communicate nonverbally – an advantage for people with poor verbal expression, often seen in patients with these diagnoses. Participation in art and music therapy has also been found to increase overall well-being, improve attention and concentration, and better mood, each of which will improve quality of life.

In terms of sub-cognitive processes, in the workplace, art and music therapy has helped develop social skills, stress management, the resolution of inner conflicts or self-definition, and most importantly, has provided a pathway for some patients to move from expressing on a piece of paper or playing on an instrument, to a self-discovery process, and emotional healing. The reach of these two types of therapies well beyond the surface and their ability to access deep, core levels of the psyche and evoke meaningful changes put them in the category of significant developments in mental health care.

How to Obtain Sound Healing Insurance?

Choosing the right insurance company may be an excellent way to cover board-certified music therapist services. Here, you can see the factors that might help music therapy to be classified as a covered treatment.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) Coverage

The Affordable Care Act means that major medical plans must cover ten essential health benefits. These benefits include mental health services and treatment for substance use disorders. The mental health treatment services may include offerings like therapy or prescription drugs, so it might also include music therapy if it is part of the treatment plan for a mental health condition.

Credential Requirements for Therapists

Services provided by fully licensed practitioners might also be covered under health insurance. This means that your insurance is more likely to cover music therapy if provided by a certified psychologist or psychiatrist offering creative therapies and a practitioner focusing solely on music therapy.

Medically Necessary Referral

Music therapy, as with other creative therapies, has to be deemed medically necessary to be covered by health insurance. This means that your therapy sessions have to be prescribed by a mental health clinician or a primary care physician who is connected with your insurer.

Costs and Copayments

For traditional therapy, you’ll generally be responsible for the usual coinsurance or copayments after your therapy visit. There might also be a designated number of covered visits. Depending on the type of supplies used in the therapy session, there might be additional costs. Often, the costs of these supplies are included in the medical bill, but if there are materials that need to be taken home for future therapy, these may be out-of-pocket expenses.

Medicare and Medicaid Coverage

Some rehabilitation centers may have music therapists on staff, and Medicare can reimburse for music therapy services in these facilities and hospital-based outpatient programs. There is limited Medicaid coverage for music therapy in some states. Most often, it is available to only specific populations. Under Medicare Part B, outpatient mental health care is covered, and music therapy can be covered under this if prescribed as medically necessary.

Private Insurance and Out-of-Network Providers

Music therapists are often out-of-network providers. If your insurance is not an HMO, you don't need an appointment with a mental health professional. You may be able to see an out-of-network provider, although the reimbursement from your insurance will likely be lower. You should check with your insurance provider for specifics on your policy.

Medicare Advantage Plans

Therapies that would have been covered under Medicare Part B are typically covered under Medicare Advantage Plans. If music therapy can be classified as medically necessary treatment, it would be covered under these plans.

Does Insurance Cover Music Therapy?

Everything related to insurance reimbursement is a state specific issue, which can vary depending on your place of living. As a rule, states help clients pay for music therapist services, especially when a reimbursed service supports children with developmental disabilities, asthma, or autism.

Make a Difference

Become a Music Therapist with Incadence

Incadence is transforming the health care industry. By joining our team, you can be a part of this revolution and a leader in health care.

Contact Us