Does Insurance Cover Equine Therapy

Does Insurance Cover Equine Therapy?

Get Equine Assisted Therapy Covered at Ingrained Recovery

In recent years, equine therapy has gained recognition as a powerful treatment for mental health and addiction recovery. At its core, equine-assisted psychotherapy leverages the unique bond between humans and horses to support emotional and psychological healing.

It is highly effective, especially when paired with comprehensive inpatient services. However, a common question arises: Does insurance cover equine therapy?

At Ingrained Recovery, we integrate equine therapy into all of our treatment programs, offering clients a holistic approach to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and emotional disabilities. Therapeutic riding is an experiential therapy, where riders experience physical and mental rewards as they progress.

Read on to learn more about equine-facilitated psychotherapy and your insurance coverage, and remember you can reach out to us at Ingrained Recovery at any time for more details on our programs and availability!

Does Your Insurance Cover Equine Therapy?

Fast and Free Insurance Verification At Ingrained

National Equine Assisted Therapy Organizations Have Touted Horse Therapy

Many national organizations dedicated to advancing equine-assisted activities have used the therapeutic power of horses to help people with mental health challenges and addictions.

The various programs set and comply with national standards and best practices to ensure the highest quality of care. Organizations such as the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) help set these standards and provide accreditation to therapy centers.

Nationwide, equine-assisted psychotherapy addresses a variety of mental health issues, including:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Substance use disorder (SUD)
  • Anxiety and panic disorders
  • Emotional disabilities and disorders
  • Behavioral disorders

Once they connect with an equine specialist, individuals and families can achieve their recovery goals.

Besides mental illness and SUDs, other conditions served well by therapeutic horseback riding include visual impairments, autism, or other special needs.

What Is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy?

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

Equine therapy, aka horse-assisted therapy, uses therapeutic activities with horses to promote mental and emotional well-being. It includes various forms, such as Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL), to address specific therapeutic goals.

The benefits of equine therapy are well-documented. Anticipated outcomes can range from improved emotional regulation and reduced anxiety to enhanced self-esteem and better coping strategies for addiction recovery.

The Core Types of Equine Therapy

  • Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy: EAP addresses emotional and psychological issues through structured interactions with horses. Each activity is guided by a licensed therapist or mental health professional and creates trust between horses and humans.
  • Equine-Assisted Learning: EAL helps develop life skills and personal growth through relationship-building activities with horses. The result is personal development and emotional healing.

Custom-designed programs at Ingrained Recovery allow our in-patients to work with the horses while also receiving other therapy while recovering.

Research Shows the Value of Equine-Assisted Therapy

A 2022 research paper shows how equine-assisted therapy shows great promise in healing substance use disorders. It notes how it can help with emotional control, self-esteem and self-confidence, and the restoration of physical health.

It also notes how participants receive the greatest benefits when an equine-assisted therapy session is guided by specialty therapists who can address all aspects of each individual’s unique, special needs.

This example is just one of many studies that show horse grooming and riding under the watch of an equine therapist can benefit inpatients.

Therapeutic Riding as an Inpatient Treatment Strategy

Equine-facilitated therapy is a core component of our inpatient services. Our sprawling property provides clients with a serene and supportive environment for clients to heal.

Integrated with other evidence-based therapies, equine therapy offers a comprehensive approach to addressing mental health and addiction issues. Our treatment plans are personalized; each client receives the specific support they need to achieve sustainable recovery.

What Are the Benefits of Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy?

Benefits of Equine Therapy Quote

Inpatient clients benefit from the continuous support and structured environment of our equine therapy program. They participate in feeding, grooming, riding, and learning. Interacting each day with our horses helps clients develop trust, build self-confidence, and learn other essential skills.

Besides those mental health boosts, many riders say that riding is beneficial because it improves balance and coordination and can provide unique workout opportunities.

This experiential therapy is particularly effective in helping clients navigate the early stages of recovery, reducing the risk of relapse while promoting emotional growth.

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Using Insurance Coverage for Equine Therapy

Insurance coverage for equine therapy varies widely. Coverage largely depends on three factors: the medical necessity of the equine-assisted therapy sessions, the specific insurance plan, and the state regulations.

Generally, traditional medical insurance does not specifically list equine therapy as a covered service. However, it may be covered under the broader umbrella of mental health and addiction treatment, especially when integrated into an inpatient program.

Here’s how the three key factors mentioned above may influence your level of coverage:

  • Type of Insurance Plan: Private insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare each have different coverage policies. Private insurance plans are more likely to cover equine therapy when part of an inpatient program.
  • State Regulations: Some states have specific mandates regarding mental health and addiction treatment coverage, which may specifically list equine therapy.
  • Medical Necessity: Insurance companies are more likely to cover equine therapy if licensed clinicians deem it necessary as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Common Insurance Policies and Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy

 Equine Therapy Programs

Here are some common insurance policy types and their potential coverage of equine-assisted therapy. Remember that unique insurance requirements may exist from one plan to the next:

Private Insurance and Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy

Many private insurance companies offer coverage for mental health and addiction treatments. In many cases, this can include equine therapy if it is part of an accredited inpatient program.

However, each company may require thorough documentation by the mental health professionals providing the care and pre-authorization to approve the therapy.

Various Insurances Offer Coverage for Equine Therapy Programs

Insurance companies may cover equine-assisted therapy without specifically mentioning it in the policy language. Remember that their goal is to control coverage to contain costs.

Among the many major carriers who provide at least some form of coverage for equine assisted therapies are the following:

Please call our Admissions staff at Ingrained Recovery for a confidential insurance verification, as well as a breakdown of potential costs.

Medicaid and Medicare and Working With Horses to Heal

Medicaid and Medicare coverage for equine therapy is less common but not impossible. Medicaid coverage varies by state, and some states may offer coverage for equine therapy as part of comprehensive mental health services.

Medicare typically does not cover equine therapy. However, it might cover horse therapy and related services under certain conditions. Unfortunately, Ingrained Recovery does not accept Medicaid and Medicare coverage for our programs at this time.

Disability Coverage and Horse Therapy

Disability coverage typically focuses on replacing a portion of income lost due to a disability and does not directly cover specific therapies like equine therapy. However, if equine therapy is part of a medically necessary treatment plan prescribed by a mental health professional, it might fall under broader health insurance policies linked to disability benefits.

Is Equine Therapy Safe?

Is Equine Therapy Safe

Equine therapy is widely regarded as a safe and beneficial treatment for adults (even children) dealing with physical and psychological disorders. The structured environment of equine therapy sessions supports the safety of both the human and the horse. Horse therapists control interactions carefully, creating a supportive atmosphere where individuals can experience the therapeutic benefits of working with a horse.

One of the key safety measures is the facility’s commercial equine package care. This comprehensive insurance policy covers liability, horse mortality, major medical expenses, and property, providing financial protection and peace of mind for equine therapy centers. This policy ensures that the facilities and horses are well-maintained. It also guarantees that any incidents are swiftly managed, contributing to a safe therapeutic environment.

Equine therapy offers numerous benefits that most feel outweigh any potential pitfalls. These include improved self-esteem, emotional regulation, and physical coordination. The horse riding sessions are engaging and non-threatening.

Horses allow adults to build trust and confidence in a controlled setting. The interaction with horses helps participants develop empathy, patience, and communication skills that lead to much-improved mental and emotional health.

Ingrained Recovery Can Help You Verify Insurance Benefits

Don’t worry too much about all the details we’ve mentioned on this page – leave the insurance verification and pre-authorization to our admissions team.

Call us today. We will take your contact data and insurance card information by phone. Then, we will research your policy and call your insurance company to discuss the clinical information supporting the medical necessity of equine-assisted therapy. They may require us to submit treatment strategies, written recommendations, or demand progress reports.

Whatever demands they make, we have you covered!

We Accept Most Major Insurance Providers

Find Help At Ingrained Recovery

Connect With Us to Start Equine-Assisted Therapy Today

If you struggle with your mental well-being or abusing illicit substances, equine therapeutic riding can help you recover. We work with numerous insurance providers and will help you obtain the necessary pre-authorizations for inpatient therapies.

If you reach out to us today, you may be able to enjoy your first horse session with a special therapist as early as tomorrow!