Is EMDR Covered by Insurance? 

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on April 6, 2023
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EMDR can be done in person or over the internet. Bilateral Dual Attention Stimulation is used in EMDR to help people change their core beliefs about themselves, the world, and other people. EMDR is used to treat a wide range of problems, such as depression, anxiety, panic, trauma, addiction, attachment, and relationship problems.

EMDR is an 8-step process that helps people feel more at peace with themselves. EMDR is covered by insurance because it is a type of regular psychotherapy.

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What is EMDR? 

Before we get into whether or not insurance will cover EMDR, it’s important to understand what EMDR is and how it works.

EMDR is a type of psychotherapy that involves using eye movements or physical tapping on different parts of the body while the patient focuses on memories or thoughts that are causing distress.

This helps the patient process their emotions in a way that can be beneficial for their mental health. 

The ideal candidates for EMDR therapy are people who want to concentrate on healing their trauma (science research supports EMDR for trauma in particular) and people who have difficulty talking about trauma (with EMDR you don’t need to do as much talking).

What is Virtual EMDR and Who For?

Can I See How EMDR Works Before Using Insurance?

Virtual EMDR provides an online platform to experience EMDR in a safe and secure environment. You get direct access to expert therapists through interactive training throughout your trial period.

With its free 3-day trial, you can get a first-hand glimpse of what EMDR is all about and decide if it’s the right approach for you. With this free version, users can explore the different protocols of EMDR and find which one works best for them, to at least get a taste of EMDR in a professional setting.

However, because trauma is such delicate work, you’re probably best off long-term by finding an in-person therapist or similar healthcare provider near you. Nonetheless, Virtual EMDR is one great resource if you’re interested in trying EDMR.

You may also check out remotEMDR, another online EMDR service that offers a free trial.

Is EMDR Covered by Insurance? 

Generally speaking, your insurance will cover EMDR for PTSD (PSD and related diagnoses). In some cases, insurance plans may cover all or some of the costs associated with EMDR therapy sessions, whether in person sessions or online therapy. However, some insurers may not cover any of the costs associated with this type of therapy.

It’s best to check with your insurance company directly to find out if they cover all or part of the cost associated with EMDR therapy sessions before you make an appointment with a therapist who offers this type of service.          

When Is EMDR Covered By Insurance? 

There are certain situations where your insurance company may agree to pay for all or part of your EMDR therapy sessions.

Generally speaking, most insurers will only consider covering this type of therapy when it’s prescribed as a treatment for severe PTSD, anxiety disorders, panic attacks, phobias, and depression that have not responded to other treatments such as medication or talk therapy.

Even then there may be limits on how many sessions they will cover each year so it’s important to check with them first before making any decisions about pursuing this type of therapy. 

Does Insurance Cover EMDR Therapy?

EMDR therapy, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a type of psychotherapy that can help people with mental health issues.

The good news is that many insurance companies will cover EMDR therapy, although the exact coverage depends on your plan.

For example, Aetna, a major insurance plan which provides healthcare insurance coverage to 39 million Americans, says in their report2, “Aetna considers eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy medically necessary for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”

In some cases, you may need a referral from your primary physician for your insurance to cover the treatment effects of EMDR therapy. If you don’t have insurance or are not using insurance, you should ask for an estimate of the expected charges for the treatment before beginning any sessions.

Overall, EMDR therapy can be an effective way to treat mental health issues such as PTSD and anxiety. With the right insurance coverage, it can be an affordable option too!

Find an EMDR provider in your insurance network using ZocDoc

Zocdoc is an easy-to-use website that helps people find doctors, therapists, and other health professionals near them based on location and insurance coverage.

You can use this platform to look for a wide range of healthcare providers, such as those who offer EMDR therapy and trauma treatment, and then sort the results by your insurance plan, location, and ratings.

To use Zocdoc to find an EMDR therapist or trauma specialist in your area who takes your insurance, just choose the type of provider you want, put in your location, and filter by insurance coverage.

Then, Zocdoc will give you a list of providers who meet your search criteria, making it easy for you to make an appointment and get the care you need.

What Is The Success Rate Of EMDR? A Realistic Look

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a type of therapy that has been used to help people with mental health issues since the late 1980s.

It is an evidence-based practice that has been shown to have a high percentage success rate with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

24 studies4 have also found EMDR to be successful in treating other mental health conditions such as mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, phobias, and substance abuse.

Lead science researcher Dr. Shapiro writes, “Twenty-four randomized controlled trials support the positive effects of EMDR therapy in the treatment of emotional trauma and other adverse life experiences relevant to clinical practice.”

The success rate of EMDR can vary depending on the individual and their particular situation, of course.

Overall, EMDR has proven to be an effective treatment for many types of mental health issues. However, it is important to remember that individual results may vary and it is best to speak with a qualified therapist about your specific needs before beginning any form of therapy.

Does Medicare Cover EMDR Therapy?

Yes, Medicare does cover EMDR therapy1.

However, coverage is not 100% and certain conditions must be met for the cost of EMDR therapy to be covered by Medicare. Generally, Medicare will cover up to 20 sessions per calendar year if you have a mental health care plan or referral from your doctor. The amount reimbursed is up to $129.55 per session.

How To Find Medicare EMDR Therapists Near Me?

If you are looking for an EMDR therapist near you that accepts Medicare, there are several resources available to help.

  1. The first step is to check with your local mental health care provider or insurance company to see if they offer any referrals. Use Zocdoc for a quick mental health search.
  2. You can also search online for EMDR therapists in your area, as well as read reviews and ratings from other patients.
  3. Additionally, the EMDR Association website has a list of certified therapists who accept Medicare coverage.
  4. Finally, Psychology Today has an extensive directory of certified EMDR therapists in all 50 states.

Once you have identified potential therapists, it is important to ask questions about their experience and qualifications. It is also important to make sure that the therapist is covered by your insurance plan or Medicare before scheduling an appointment.

Medicare covers certain types of psychotherapy services, including individual and group psychotherapy with doctors or certain other licensed professionals. Depending on your plan, you may be eligible for up to 20 sessions per calendar year with a reimbursement rate of up to $129.55 per session.

Finding the right therapist can be a difficult process but it is worth the effort if it helps you manage your mental health issues more effectively. With the right resources and support, you can find an experienced, certified EMDR therapist, who accepts Medicare coverage near you and get started on the road to recovery.

How Much Does EMDR Cost Without Insurance?

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a type of therapy used to help people process traumatic memories. It can be an effective treatment for those struggling with mental health issues. The cost of EMDR therapy without insurance can vary depending on the therapist and location.

Generally, the cost per session ranges from $100 to $300, with most therapists charging between $150 and $200 per session. Some therapists may also offer sliding scale fees based on income.

It is important to note that the cost of EMDR therapy may be covered by some private insurance plans, such as Talkspace. If you have insurance, it is best to contact your provider to see if they cover any portion of the cost. Additionally, there are online resources available that provide free or low-cost EMDR services.

Overall, the cost of EMDR therapy without insurance can range from $100 to $300 per session. However, there are options available for those who cannot afford this cost such as private insurance coverage or free/low-cost online resources.

Total Cost of EMDR Therapy (Cost Estimate)

Most individual sessions, however, cost between $75 and $150 per hour, depending on the experience level and location of the therapist you choose. If you hire a private EMDR specialist with many years of experience, each session can cost $300 or more (not included in the calculations below).

Group sessions can be much cheaper than individual ones, but that will depend on the same things, like how big the group is and how long it goes on.

If you make these assumptions, the cost of EDMR therapy would be:

  • Less severe symptoms and cheap therapy add up to $600.
  • High severity of symptoms and no insurance = $150 x 12 sessions = $1800
  • The average cost of EDMR therapy is about $1200.

Why Is EMDR Not Covered By Insurance Sometimes?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is sometimes not covered by insurance.

  • This is because some insurance companies do not distinguish between EMDR and other forms of talk therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
  • It also depends on the type of insurance plan you have, as some plans may cover EMDR therapy work while others may not.
  • Additionally, some mental health professionals are not in-network with major insurance companies, meaning that your plan may not cover their services.
  • Lastly, some people choose to pay out-of-pocket for EMDR therapy instead of using their insurance due to privacy concerns or because they want more flexibility in choosing a therapist.

How To Verify Medicare EMDR Coverage

If you’re looking to verify Medicare coverage for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, the first step is to speak with your healthcare provider.

Medicare will cover EMDR therapy if it’s deemed medically necessary. Your healthcare provider can refer you to an EMDR therapist and provide a referral for Medicare coverage.

You’ll also need to familiarize yourself with the CPT codes for EMDR therapy, which are 90834 and 90899. These codes must be included on the CMD-1500 form for Medicare to review your request for coverage.

Finally, make sure that the EMDR therapist you choose is a member of EMDRIA, as this will ensure they meet certain standards of practice and have experience in providing EMDR therapy.

You can find an EMDR-certified therapist through the “Find an EMDR Therapist Directory” on the EMDRIA website (

By following these steps, you can verify whether or not Medicare will cover your EMDR therapy.

What Does EMDR Therapy Treat?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy used to treat mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and trauma.

EMDR therapy works by helping the mind heal from psychological trauma in much the same way that the body recovers from physical trauma.

During EMDR sessions, the patient focuses on traumatic memories while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (such as eye movements). This helps to reduce symptoms associated with the trauma and can be an effective treatment for many mental health issues.

How Does EMDR Work?

EMDR works by using rapid, rhythmic eye movements to help the brain process memory. This helps reduce the intensity of the memory, as well as any negative thoughts or emotions associated with it.

The way EMDR works is by temporarily slowing down an overstimulated amygdala, which is part of the brain responsible for processing emotions. This helps synchronize brain waves, allowing you to process traumatic memories more effectively.

By doing this, EMDR can help you heal from psychological trauma just like your body heals from physical trauma.

Overall, EMDR is a type of therapy that helps people process and release traumatic memories to reduce their intensity and associated negative thoughts or emotions. It does this by temporarily slowing down an over-stimulated amygdala and synchronizing brain waves so that the traumatic memory can be processed more effectively.

Here are more details about EMDR’s benefits and drawbacks, how to locate a local EMDR therapist, the effectiveness of online EMDR, the advantages of virtual EMDR therapy, the training needed to become a certified EMDR therapist, the accessibility of Virtual, the likelihood of insurance coverage, and the price of EMDR therapy can be found in other articles on Online Mental Health Reviews.

Who Is Not A Good Candidate For EMDR?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that helps people heal from the symptoms of performance anxiety and emotional distress caused by traumatic memories. However, not everyone is a good candidate for EMDR therapy.

Here are some of the factors to consider when determining if an EMDR treatment is right for you:

  1. Age – EMDR therapy is not recommended for children under the age of 12 or adults over 65.
  2. Mental Health – If you have severe mental health issues such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or severe depression, then EMDR may not be suitable for you.
  3. Substance Abuse – If you are actively using drugs or alcohol, then it is best to seek other forms of treatment first before considering EMDR therapy.
  4. Cognitive Impairment – If you have difficulty understanding complex concepts or following instructions, then EMDR may not be an appropriate treatment option for you.
  5. Trauma History – If your trauma history includes multiple traumas that occurred over a long period, then it may be difficult to process all of these experiences in one session with EMDR therapy.

If any of these factors apply to you, it is important to discuss them with your therapist before beginning EMDR therapy so that they can determine if this type of treatment will be beneficial for you or if another form of therapy would be more appropriate.

You may want to begin your mental health journey by simply learning to meditate, instead of jumping into therapy.

One common way to learn meditation is through Headspace, which we bought and tested because of its status as one of the world’s largest online mindfulness meditation apps.

If you want to dip your toes into the waters of a mental health journey (not ready for therapy), Headspace offers a free 2-week trial.

What Disorders Can EMDR Treat?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy that has been used to treat a variety of mental health conditions.

EMDR can be used to help people who are struggling with trauma, anxiety, depression, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It may also help treat other issues such as trauma-related disorders such as addiction, eating disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

What Is The Difference Between Brain Spotting Vs EMDR

Brain spotting and EMDR are two psychotherapeutic techniques used to help people struggling with mental health. Both techniques use bilateral stimulation, a neurobiological tool that helps locate and process deep-seated traumas.

The main difference between the two is in eye movement.

Brain spotting typically uses a single eye position, while EMDR employs rapid eye movement from right to left or up to down. Brain spotting also allows for more input from the therapist than EMDR does.

Both therapies have been proven effective in treating a variety of mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and phobias. Ultimately, it is up to the individual and their therapist to decide which technique works best for them.

What Does CPT Code 90899 Mean?

CPT code 90899 is used to describe a psychiatric service or procedure that cannot be described by any other CPT code.

It is part of the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code range for Psychiatry Services and Procedures4, which covers codes 90785-90899. This code may also be used for procedures that require some degree of medical decision-making and psychotherapy.

It is important to note that this code should only be used when no other CPT code can accurately describe the service provided.

What Is CPT Code 90834?

CPT code 90834 is a procedure code used in both mental health services and behavioral health billing. It is the most common code used for psychotherapy sessions that last between 38 to 52 minutes.

CPT code 90834 should be used when you spend an estimated 38–52 minutes on therapy with the client, and 90837 is for all therapy sessions that last 53 minutes or more. Knowing which CPT code to use can help ensure accurate billing every time.

What Is The CPT Code For 90-Minute EMDR?

The CPT code for 90-minute EMDR is  99354 This code is used to bill for a psychotherapy session with an individual patient that lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing,

How Do You Bill A 90-Minute EMDR Session?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy that can help people process and recover from traumatic memories.

It involves moving your eyes in a certain pattern while focusing on the trauma memory. A 90-minute EMDR session is typically billed as two 45-minute sessions, with each session being billed separately.

The cost of an EMDR session will vary depending on the therapist’s experience and location. You should contact your insurance provider to see if they cover EMDR therapy.

It is important to note that EMDR therapy is not a one-time fix for mental health issues. It requires multiple sessions over time to be effective. If you are considering using EMDR therapy, it is important to speak with a qualified therapist who can guide you through the process and help you find the best treatment plan for your needs.

Is There A CPT Code For EMDR?

Yes, there is a CPT code for EMDR treatment.

The most commonly used CPT code for EMDR therapy is Code 90834. 90834 is the 2nd most common code used.

What Type Of Therapy Does EMDR Fall Under?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy.

It was initially used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder but has since been used to treat other mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and phobias.

EMDR combines elements of cognitive behavioral therapy with eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation to help the patient process traumatic memories. The goal is to reduce the emotional distress associated with these memories so that the patient can move forward in their life.

What Is The Difference Between CPT Code 90834 And 90837?

The difference between CPT code 90834 and 90837 is time. CPT code 90834 is used for sessions that are less than 53 minutes, while CPT code 90837 is used for sessions that are 53 minutes and less than 60 minutes.

This means that if you have a 50-minute therapy session, you should use the 90834 code, but if your session lasts longer than 53 minutes, you should use the 90837 code. Additionally, it’s important to document the start and stop times of your session to bill correctly using the 90837 code.

Overall, it’s important to be aware of which CPT codes to use when billing for psychotherapy services to ensure accurate payment.

Is EMDR Covered By Insurance Conclusion:  

In conclusion, whether or not your insurance covers EMDR depends on your specific circumstances and plan details.

If you’re considering seeking out this type of therapy for yourself or someone else in your family, it’s important to contact your insurer first to determine what kind of coverage you have available—if any—for this particular kind of treatment.

That being said if you do decide to pursue EMDR as a form of mental health treatment either for yourself or someone else in your family then rest assured knowing that it has been shown time and time again to be very effective in treating various types of mental health problems such as PTSD, anxiety disorders, panic attacks and depression among others.

For further reading, check these articles about how EMDR therapy works, where to find, EMDR insurance, benefits, pros and cons, login info, EMDR training, and EMDR for OCD. For online, virtual self-EMDR, see our Virtual EMDR review.

Our team invites you to share your thoughts in the comments section below. Let us know which mental health software products, apps, or courses that Online Mental Health Reviews should explore and review next.

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Overall, BetterHelp conveniently provides busy professionals with various live therapy options to make it the best online therapy in terms of value per dollar.

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  1. Team, Medicare Plan Tips. “Does Medicare Cover EMDR Therapy?” Medicare Plan Tips, 5 Apr. 2022,
  2. (n.d.).
  3. C. (n.d.). EMDR Therapy: What It Is, Procedure & Effectiveness. Cleveland Clinic.
  4. Shapiro, F. (2014, March). The Role of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy in Medicine: Addressing the Psychological and Physical Symptoms Stemming from Adverse Life Experiences. The Permanente Journal, 18(1), 71–77.
  5. CPT® Code – Psychiatry Services and Procedures 90785-90899 – Codify by AAPC. (2023, March 29). CPT® Code – Psychiatry Services and Procedures 90785-90899 – Codify by AAPC.

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