Ketamine therapy is now being offered across the country as an addition to existing employee health plans in a first-of-its-kind move by a national provider of insurance for psychedelic-assisted therapy.
A national provider of workplace insurance for psychedelic therapy recently partnered with two new companies to expand their network and offer ketamine-assisted therapy as a health benefit nationwide.
“Nationwide availability represents a pivotal moment in accomplishing Enthea’s mission of helping employers with workplace mental health challenges,” said Sherry Rais, chief executive officer and co-founder of Enthea.
Enthea is a company that focuses on providing psychedelic assisted therapies for employee health plans and ketamine is the first and only such drug with known psychedelic and/or hallucinatory effects to be approved in any fashion by the FDA for use in mental health treatments. Enthea recently announced a partnership with two companies: Skylight Psychedelics and Innerwell. Both companies help facilitate remote and in-person psychedelic-assisted experiences.
“Skylight Psychedelics is thrilled to join forces with Enthea,” said Scott Bienenfeld, MD, Co-Founder. “Through our collaboration, we will help people overcome a variety of mental health conditions by expanding access to cutting-edge, often life-saving treatments, such as ketamine-assisted therapy and other emerging psychedelic medicine modalities.”
This partnership allows certain eligible employees to potentially take advantage of ketamine therapy without paying exorbitant fees often associated with the blossoming field of psychedelic assisted therapy, with session prices for a single psilocybin experience exceeding $2,000 in places like Oregon. Estimates for an average price of a ketamine session are all over the place depending on where you look but the most common estimate of an uninsured patient’s cost is $400-$800 per session.
Very few people are currently eligible to take advantage of these benefits, 1,500 nationwide by the estimate Enthea gave to Vice but they hope to get those numbers up to 200,000 by the end of next year.
“Investing in the mental health of employees is critical. Innerwell is proud to partner with Enthea to help future-thinking employers offer ketamine and other medication-assisted treatments that have lasting, transformative outcomes,” said Lisa Kennedy, CEO of Innerwell. “Our team of specifically trained clinicians delivers compassionate care while our data-driven approach will help accelerate the adoption of these new treatments by proving the efficacy of these innovative modalities.”
The FDA first approved ketamine-assisted therapy in 2019 via a nasal spray under the brand name Spravato in conjunction with an oral antidepressant. Since then, a large number of clinics and physicians have begun offering the somewhat controversial practice. Some estimates put the number of clinics between 500 and 750 nationwide but there’s not a national registry so it’s hard to say. In 2022 the market for ketamine clinics was estimated to be around $3.1 billion.
Enthea has been offering coverage for ketamine therapy since last year and touted data from a year of offering ketamine-assisted therapy to the employees of Dr. Bronner’s soap company, saying that employees who took advantage of the service experienced drastic reductions in symptoms related to mental health disorders. Depression symptoms were reduced by 67% and PTSD by 86%, according to data in an Enthea press release.
“The health and wellbeing of our employees is the primary driver in how we think about benefits and compensation. Offering coverage for ketamine-assisted therapy is in the interest of providing tools to our workforce to have the best quality of life and best options for mental health care,” said Michael Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner’s in a prepared statement about the program’s launch in 2022. “Our family and company are no strangers to depression and anxiety. We are deeply concerned about the mental health crisis society is facing, especially in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Considering all our advocacy on this issue, this employee benefit is the next logical step.”
Due to the positive data from Dr. Bronner’s case study and the new partnerships with Innerwell and Starlight, Enthea’s provider network has increased significantly enough for them to now offer these services to employers nationwide. Enthea’s benefits packages can be added onto existing health, dental and vision plans according to the press release.
“The providers in Enthea’s Network are critical to our mission of ensuring access to high quality and affordable ketamine-assisted therapy,” stated Andrew Ninnimann, Enthea’s Director of Networks and Strategic Initiatives. “We remain committed to working with companies at the forefront of innovation as it pertains to developments that are changing the mental health industry.”
Any employers who wish to offer Enthea’s services need only contact them at this handy-dandy little hyperlink to find out more.
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