Why the Cost of Ketamine Treatment is Worth It
Ketamine treatment is an investment. It’s an investment in yourself, in your future, in your wellbeing, and in your relationships with others.
Like any investment worthy of consideration, you might be wondering if the cost of ketamine therapy is worth the benefits you’ll receive. Additionally, you might have quite a few questions about the process: What exactly are the benefits? How long do they last? What is the total investment to move forward with these treatments?
There are a number of approaches to ketamine therapy: intravenous infusions and intramuscular injections (IV/IM), sublingual tablets, and intranasal sprays. Each treatment methodology comes with different total costs, program structures, potential benefits, and both time and emotional investments.
Below you’ll find details on the high-level benefits and features that make ketamine treatment a worthwhile, long-lasting, and potentially life-changing investment in yourself.
How much does ketamine therapy cost?
Depending on the treatment approach you take, you will encounter different costs per program or session.
- IV/IM solutions can begin at around $1200 for a single dosing session.
- A one-month supply of intranasal spray can be around $800.
- Six sessions (1-2 months) of oral ketamine treatment can cost up to $800
At Mindbloom, an initial program consisting of six sessions using oral ketamine tablets begins at $89 a week*. Following completion of the initial program, eligible clients can purchase additional six session programs starting at $64 a week*.
Considering relative Cost
Beyond the absolute cost of the programs, it’s helpful to consider the relative cost.
For some, these program costs aren’t a major concern. For others, these programs can represent a significant portion of monthly income or current savings. This relative cost per session/program is important to consider for yourself, to maximize the value you receive from each treatment modality, based upon your unique needs and situation.
In some cases, the resources committed to a program or treatment can impact your relationship and commitment to it. Some people value treatment higher if more time, energy, and financial resources are invested. On the inverse, sometimes we can harbor resentment or other subconscious barriers to treatments or programs if we feel like the resource commitment doesn't match the reward or outcomes.
The selection of a program should be done with self awareness around your association between investment and outcomes: leverage this to increase your commitment to the process or to prevent any barriers toward enduring the course.
Are ketamine treatment costs one-time, or recurring?
Cost is based on a number of factors: the treatment program selected (route of administration, are you taking the medicine alone or coupled with therapy or integration support), your commitment to following recommended plan of care and doing the work around the medicine, and factors specific to your individual mental health needs.
With all treatment approaches, there can be one-time expenses (one course of treatment), or the need for ongoing clinical treatment. It is important to have open and honest dialogue with your clinician to convey your mental health journey up to that point, what your intentions are, how you are feeling, and what progress you see along the way.
Some individuals can see incredible and long-lasting results after an initial course of treatment. Others may require a consistent schedule of maintenance treatment, or booster treatments when they feel their symptoms re-emerging. As you continue with treatment, it is vital to stay tuned into your mental health to identify shifts early on and communicate these with your provider to maintain growth made and your wellness.
Treatment plans are highly specific to each person: what is the severity of symptoms, what other treatment or conditions are occurring concurrently, what degree of integration is happening, what life events occur, and how does the person respond to the treatment?
Ketamine’s intangible or secondary costs
Beyond the financial investment that ketamine therapy takes, it is also important to consider the intangible, or secondary costs associated with ketamine therapy. This is something not discussed as often, but is important to note in order to make an informed decision.
Part of what helps ketamine therapy provide long-lasting transformation is the integration process —the work done to bring the lessons and insights into your day-to-day life— outside of the treatment sessions.
The sessions themselves can take anywhere from 1-5 hours of your time, which can be a significant time investment, based on your schedule. There are emotional investments as well. Working through depression or anxiety, bringing deeply rooted emotions or memories to the surface to process, is not an easy task.
Despite having rapid-acting antidepressant (RAAD) qualities and effects, ketamine is not a “magic pill.” Long-term change will require time and emotional investments from you, through this type of treatment, we are getting back our personal agency in our healing process.
In sum, not only is there financial cost that you should consider, you also invest time, energy, and emotional work into this process. In order to get the most from the treatment, you should consider the personal investments it takes.
Is ketamine therapy covered by insurance?
Other than Spavato for its FDA approved indications, ketamine therapy is not typically covered by health insurance plans. However, it may be possible.
It is best to consult with your insurance provider to determine which treatment options may be available to you, how much (or for which portion of the treatment) they will reimburse for, and what specific prior authorizations may be needed. Many health practitioners and organizations providing ketamine treatments are working hard to change this, including Mindbloom. Increasing accessibility and affordability to those in need, regardless of financial resources is vital.
Given the promising results of clinical trials and client outcome data, and the safety, efficacy, and tolerability of ketamine as a medicine, the outlook is hopeful that ketamine treatment will be covered by insurance in the future.
Though this can’t be guaranteed as there are rigorous clinical data, regulatory requirements and logistical constraints to navigate, many ketamine practitioners and advocates for psychedelic medicines recognize the value this treatment modality will provide and are actively seeking to get ketamine covered by insurers and reducer barriers to accessing care.
Are Refunds Available?
Like any other business or product, policies for things such as refunds are usually pre-set and vary based on the company and their protocols. It’s important to look into this before making your decision to move forward with treatment.
As with other forms of treatment, you have the right to choose what you put into your body. At Mindbloom, we work with you to decide if this treatment may work for you both prior to starting and along the way.
Although you can stop at any time, there is variability from one clinic/practitioner to the next regarding what stopping mid treatment protocol may mean for the money you have paid upfront. It's best to ask about this policy specifically before you begin.
Are the Costs and Benefits the Same for Everyone?
The simple answer is no: the costs and benefits are different for everyone.
As they should be! Each person is unique, with a different life story, different goals and aspirations, and different challenges they are working to overcome. As a result, each individual's experiences and involvement in ketamine treatment programs will be different as well.
Some individuals may only use a single course of treatment (which can vary based on clinic) to work with their intentions, while others may work with a practitioner on a multi-month program arc. Some may only use ketamine therapy once, while others may return to it every so often.
Some individuals experience boosts in mood or gain new insights through deep reflective experiences, while others may have substantial changes in how they interact with and perceive their world internally and externally. Some individuals may devote a lot of time and focus toward integration at hopes of maximizing potential for long lasting change, while others may show up seeking relief from the rapid antidepressant qualities of the treatment.
Some individuals work on general anxiety, others work on processing deeply rooted emotional trauma, while others focus on gaining clarity for their future or rekindling a love for themselves and the world.
All of these factors make each person's overall experience, treatment program and treatment session unique. As a result, the costs, benefits, and experiences will be different for everyone.
Is Ketamine Treatment Available in my State?
The ability to receive ketamine therapy depends on the presence of licensed practitioners in your state. Ketamine is a legal medication in the United States that is prescribed both on and off label for different indications. However, like other controlled substances, you must see a clinician that is licensed in the state in which you are being treated.
There are ketamine practitioners in most states. You can look for IV/IM clinics near you, practitioners who will prescribe Spravato, or you can see if you’re eligible for virtual treatment with oral tablets with Mindbloom.
What are the Benefits of Ketamine Therapy?
There are a number of factors to explore when understanding direct and indirect benefits of ketamine therapy.
A few potential benefits from ketamine therapy include:
- Rapid-acting antidepressant effects (within hours)
- Healing parts of our brain damaged from long term exposure to depression and stress (neurogenesis + neural pathway repair)
- New insights, physical sensations, emotions, connections
- Psychological healing through the act of dissociation
- Durability of shifts in insights and mental flexibility
What is not often mentioned are the indirect benefits that can come with certain ketamine therapy or ketamine treatment programs.
For example: the act of investing in yourself, of taking a courageous leap for your health and healing, can set off a cascade of benefits and behavior changes leading to downstream effects on mood. When we start showing up for ourselves we are validating our worth and our ability to change.
Working directly with a “guide” can greatly assist with integration. This can help the lessons you learn through the experiences resonate and stick allowing for comprehensive behavior change and longer-lasting changes in mood and general outlook.
A very important consideration to make when determining whether to invest in ketamine therapy or not, is to remember that ketamine treatment has the potential to change your life.
Sometimes clients experience an elevation in mood, or gain some breathing room from the anxiety and stressors of life. Others are transformed, finding themselves in remission from depression, with new insights and attitudes that they can use to alter the course of the rest of their lives.
When considering the financial, emotional, and time investments required for ketamine treatment, remember that for some, the benefits can be long-lasting: for weeks, months, or years.
The investment is considerable, but so are the potential results. And when this relates to your engagement and enjoyment of life itself, it can be worth consideration. We encourage you to speak with your provider to get an understanding of what realistic outcomes may look like, based on your specific needs and situation.
*paid monthly, over three months
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. If you are in a life-threatening situation, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at +1 (800) 273-8255, call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room.
Ketamine is not FDA-approved for the treatment of depression or anxiety. Learn more about off-label uses here.
Side effects of ketamine treatment may include: altered sense of time, anxiety, blurred vision, diminished ability to see/hear/feel, dry mouth, elevated blood pressure or heart rate, elevated intraocular or intracranial pressure, excitability, loss of appetite, mental confusion, nausea/vomiting, nystagmus (rapid eye movements), restlessness, slurred speech, synesthesia (a mingling of the senses).
Do not proceed with ketamine treatment if any of the following apply to you:
- Allergic to ketamine
- Symptoms of psychosis or mania
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure
- CHF or other serious heart problem
- Severe breathing problem
- History of elevated intraocular or intracranial pressure
- History of hyperthyroidism
- Other serious medical illness
- Pregnant, nursing, or trying to become pregnant
Ketamine has been reported to produce issues including, but not limited to, those listed below. However, lasting adverse side-effects are rare when medical protocols are carefully followed.
While ketamine has not been shown to be physically addictive, it has been shown to cause moderate psychological dependency in some recreational users.
- In rare cases, frequent, heavy users have reported increased frequency of urination, urinary incontinence, pain urinating, passing blood in the urine, or reduced bladder size
- Ketamine may worsen problems in people with schizophrenia, severe personality disorders, or other serious mental disorders.
- Users with a personal or family history of psychosis should be cautious using any psychoactive substance, including ketamine, and discuss potential risks with your MindBloom® clinician before proceeding with treatment.
- The dissociative effects of ketamine may increase patient vulnerability and the risk of accidents.
To promote positive outcomes and ensure safety, follow these ketamine treatment guidelines:
- Do not operate a vehicle (e.g., car, motorcycle, bicycle) or heavy machinery following treatment until you’ve had a full night of sleep
- Refrain from taking benzodiazepines or stimulants for 24 hours prior to treatment
- Continue to take antihypertensive medication as prescribed
- Avoid hangovers or alcohol intake
- Refrain from consuming solid foods within 3 hours prior to treatment and liquids within 1 hour prior to treatment
- Ketamine treatment should never be conducted without a monitor present to ensure your safety