The International Association for Yoga Therapists is currently working on accrediting yoga therapy, and we all pray that will create acceptance by health insurance companies, making therapeutic yoga more affordable for those who are stressed, sick and injured. While we patiently wait for the day when we yoga therapists can bill insurance companies and have our clients feel less of a financial burden to stick with weekly sessions, here are options for you right now.
1. Some insurance companies, like Aetna, may cover or reimburse yoga therapy provided by a licensed medical professional such as a nurse, physical therapist or psychotherapist. And yoga classes provided at a gym.
2. Workers compensation and Auto Insurance providers may cover yoga therapy payments.
3. Medicare has covered yoga classes at hospitals and clinics.
4. Yoga Basics did some research and discovered : “If you’re self-employed and you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), it can be used to pay for yoga therapy visits. So can an employer-funded Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA). If you contribute part of your salary toward a Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), check with your employer’s FSA administrator to see if yoga therapy qualifies as a medical expense. In all cases, keep good records and document your expenses.”
5. If you love your yoga therapist and want to know if one of the above options will apply to you, don’t hesitate to make calls and get the facts. You may also want to check with your accountant to see if your yoga therapy visits can be applied to your medical expenses at the end of the year.
6. If you’re a veteran and you found a yoga therapist you like, ask your local V.A. if they will hire that person. Yoga therapy is limited at V.A.’s because many only hire on a volunteer basis. Most professional yoga therapists can’t afford to volunteer enough hours to really make a difference. If you believe in yoga therapy, write to your Congressperson, heck write to the President, and ask that more funding goes into yoga therapy for veterans. I personally would love an opportunity to help as many veterans as possible with my yoga therapy program, but my local V.A. turned me away due to lack of funding. I’d love to see a yoga therapy program set up at every V.A. in the nation, and I’d be happy to do it myself and train people like I did at Fort Bragg, if the V.A. could fund my time. Veterans deserve this healing option, and the peace it brings.
Don’t be afraid to speak out. It never hurts to ask for what you want and need.