Does Medical Insurance Cover Music Therapy?

Today's post comes to us from our office manager Christy Deneau.  Christy began working for The George Center after gaining years of valuable experience in the healthcare industry as a physician recruiter.  Christy is an insurance guru who works diligently to ensure that clients of The George Center get affordable access to high quality music therapy services.

Many times when an individual calls our office inquiring about music therapy services, one of the first questions they ask is "Does medical insurance cover music therapy?"  In many cases, YES! As with all rehabilitative services, the answer lies with the patient’s individual and/or family insurance plan. All insurance companies are not the same just as all medical and mental health plans are not the same. While there are some plans that specifically exclude music therapy as a covered service, we at The George Center successfully bill 3rd party insurance providers for over 80% of our patients!

There are many effective CPT codes that music therapists successfully use that describe a variety of music therapy interventions. However, these codes are not discipline specific and are often used by other related healthcare professionals (i.e. physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, mental health professionals, etc.). Therefore, we always communicate your benefits and plan details so that you may choose how and if you want to use your therapeutic benefits for music therapy. This also helps to avoid a duplication of services with your other therapy providers.  In addition, the code(s) we use must fit our therapeutic goals for the patient.

Please keep in mind, at this time music therapists are considered out of network providers with ALL insurance companies. It is our mission as we increase national and state recognition of our credentials that music therapists will be able to apply to be in network providers very soon!  Until then, music therapy is typically subject to an out of network deductible that has to be met before your insurance company will pay any claims.

There continues to be a great deal of progress in the world of music therapy regarding advocacy, recognition, and reimbursement. Just this past March, Georgia Senate Bill 414 for music therapy licensure passed!  Licensure increases awareness and access to quality music therapy services for Georgia residents. Our own Jamie George served on the task force that worked to pass this bill and continues to work to educate and advocate for music therapy across the state and the nation. Make sure you sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about news and happenings regarding music therapy recognition and reimbursement options in our state and across the country.

We are always happy to call on your benefits to see what options might be available for music therapy services. Please keep in mind that insurance companies make it very clear that a verification of benefits does not guarantee payment. However, The George Center prides itself on working diligently to obtain claim approvals for all of our patients who have therapy benefits that include music therapy as a related service. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Jamie George

The George Center for Music Therapy, 12060 Etris Rd. Suite 200, Roswell, GA

JAMIE GEORGE

Jamie founded The George Center for Music Therapy, Inc. in 2010 in order to expand and increase access to quality music therapy programs in the metro Atlanta area. She is a licensed and nationally board-certified music therapist. Jamie holds additional certifications in Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Music Therapy (NICU-MT).

Jamie received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Western Michigan University, and a Master of Music with a concentration in Music Therapy, from the University of Georgia. She completed her graduate research studying music therapy and its effects on children with sensory processing disorder. Jamie completed her internship working with exceptional children in the Fulton County Schools Music Therapy Department in metro Atlanta. Jamie specializes in autism and other neurologic conditions. In addition to teaching and treating, she actively consults with parents, therapists, allied health, and therapeutic and educational programs across the country.

Jamie serves on the Ethics Board for the American Music Therapy Association, and serves as Government Relations Co-Chair for the Southeastern Region of the AMTA. She serves as Reimbursement Chair for the Music Therapy Association of Georgia, having previously served as Treasurer for the organization from 2007 – 2012.  Jamie also serves on the Georgia state task forceand the Georgia Secretary of State appointed Music Therapy Advisory Committee.

Jamie is an accomplished vocalist, and comes to Atlanta after having performed for several years in New York City and Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.

Check out some of Jamie’s work over on the blog!