Can I Afford TMS Therapy? What Does TMS Cost?
Medical care can be expensive. In America’s health system, there are only a few options when it comes to paying for treatment. Some people have private insurance through their employer or that they buy independently. Others are able to use government plans like Medicaid.
Many insurance plans only cover particular areas of care. For example, preventive or emergency care may be covered, while elective procedures are not. A general practitioner may be covered, while specialists are not. With the high cost of medical care, pursuing new treatment methods can be a daunting process.
TMS side effects are temporary and generally mild. Additionally, TMS side effects are generated by the physical administration of the treatment, rather than by chemical changes induced by medication, so they do not include issues like sexual dysfunction and weight gain that are common with antidepressants. TMS side effects also tend to taper off as the course of treatment continues.
Is TMS Covered by My Insurance?
Is TMS covered by insurance? While health insurance companies have not always treated psychological health with the same respect as physical health, more and more insurance plans have expanded to include coverage for the treatment of conditions like major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, general anxiety disorder, and others. Of course, this coverage varies by plan, but it is becoming far more common for major insurance providers to cover procedures like TMS. When you’re trying to figure out the total TMS cost you will be responsible for, the first place to look is in the terms of your specific insurance plan.
Currently, Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Blue Shield of California (Magellan), Anthem Blue Cross, and all offer coverage for TMS on at least some of their plans, although there may be stipulations attached. For example, most carriers will require a patient to complete multiple courses of psychopharmaceuticals (antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, etc.) and participate in ongoing psychotherapy before TMS can be approved. In some cases, where a care provider offers a comprehensive approach that includes TMS in conjunction with psychotherapy and other methods, insurance may be more likely to approve TMS as part of this bundled treatment plan.
In addition to an ever-increasing rate of coverage by insurance carriers, there are also financing options that spread the TMS cost out over time, easing the initial financial impact.
When TMS is not covered by insurance, the cost is not small. A full course of treatment might cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. These numbers seem high, and they do present a challenge for individuals who cannot get coverage through insurance or financing. However, the cost of ongoing psychotherapy and medication treatment can be quite substantial as well, without even taking into account the lost productivity and income that inadequate treatment can cause. Fortunately, for most individuals, there are options available to alleviate some of the TMS cost, either through insurance coverage or financing options.
Is the TMS Cost Worth it?
The TMS price may initially be a deterrent for some people, and understandably so. Nothing that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars should be entered into without serious consideration. However, when a patient is considering TMS therapy, it’s usually because other methods of treatment have provided unsatisfactory results. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, and bipolar disorder are debilitating and life-altering conditions. In some ways, they may be more debilitating than a broken arm — something no one would consider it an option to leave untreated.
As the general awareness of the importance of psychological health increases, the willingness of insurers to cover treatment options like TMS will only increase as well. This shift has already been taking place over the past several years. So, is the TMS price worth paying? With the many options ranging from private financing to insurance coverage to payment plans, there has never been a better time to pursue TMS therapy for treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or PTSD. The long-term benefits of remission from these types of psychological maladies far outweigh the monetary cost of treatment. It’s impossible to put a price tag on the personal and professional opportunities, or the enjoyment of daily life, that people can regain once they are free of the symptoms of a psychological illness.
As you begin weighing the benefits of TMS therapy, speak with your insurance carrier to confirm your coverage, deductible amount, and whether there are prerequisites to beginning your TMS therapy. You will discover that there have never been more ways to address TMS costs than there are right now.