Insurers, Courts Grapple with How and When to Pay for Wilderness Therapy–a Polarizing Industry with a Sordid Past

July 15, 2022

(STAT News) – The wilderness therapy and a subsequent stay at a residential treatment facility for girls cost more than $70,000, and I.’s family expected it to be covered the way comparable medical treatments are. But their health insurer refused to pay. First, UnitedHealthcare cited missing information. Then, it said I.’s policy excludes wilderness therapy because it’s considered “experimental.” Like dozens of parents before him, I.’s father is turning to the legal system in hopes of forcing payment. It’s an increasingly common move — but one that heaves a formidable question onto judges, who must decide whether the polarizing therapy has enough evidence behind it to warrant insurance coverage. (Read More)