A chair is seen in a therapy room at Field Trip, a psychedelic therapy clinic in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on August 28, 2020. (Photo by COLE BURSTON/AFP via Getty Images)
Ketamine-assisted therapy is now available as a health benefit across the U.S.Enthea, a benefits company focused on providing insurance coverage for psychedelic treatments, announced it is offering ketamine-assisted therapy to its benefit plans nationwide. The company already has ketamine-assisted therapy on benefit plans in California, New York, and Texas. But the number of Americans receiving this type of treatment as a benefit is limited. Currently only 1,500 people are offered it while the company hopes that number will reach 200,000 by the end of 2024.
Ketamine is the only psychedelic that can legally be used to treat mental health conditions, and there’s been an influx of clinics offering the drug, sometimes in conjunction with psychotherapy, in the last few years. Sessions range from $300 to $1,500 a session without insurance—usually several sessions are recommended. Enthea’s ability to offer ketamine as a benefit nationwide is due to new partnerships with two companies—Skylight Psychedelics and Innerwell—that facilitate psychedelic experiences at clinics around the country, remotely, and in people’s homes, according to a news release. Employers looking to offer the benefit to its workers can add it on to existing plans, similarly to dental and vision plans, Enthea said. “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. While ketamine is currently the most widely available legal psychedelic, other drugs are also becoming more mainstream. Oregon recently opened its first legal psilocybin centers, where people can trip on mushrooms while being supervised, which can cost up to $3,500 for “high dose” trips. Meanwhile, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) recently published the results of a second confirmatory Phase 3 clinical trial on using MDMA to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. MAPS will apply to the Food and Drug Administration to allow for the use of MDMA as a PTSD treatment, with the hopes that it will be approved next year.