This week Disability Living has featured Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) — a drug-free, effective, unique form of therapy. Animal-Assisted Therapy has proven itself to be particularly beneficial for those with disabilities. Perhaps you have decided that AAT is something you want to integrate into your life.
Do you want all the benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy? Are you wondering how you will finance it?
Wondering how you will pay for AAT is valid. Many therapies have the potential to come with a high price tag — some forms of AAT are no different.
The first step in financing AAT is calling your health insurance provider and asking if it covers Animal-Assisted Therapy.
This may seem like an elementary step, but many people may not take it. They might assume AAT would not be covered by insurance and therefore may not even ask about it. Why not call your health insurance provider today and ask if this wonderful therapy is covered under your health care plan?
What should you do if your insurance provider does not cover Animal-Assisted Therapy?
If your health insurance doesn’t cover AAT, don’t give up hope. Your next step is to consider some creative ways to glean the benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy without the costliness of it. One of the quickest and easiest ways to do this is to adopt a pet (if your health allows).
What should you do if you have no extra money, yet want to receive some of the benefits of AAT?
If you cannot get Animal-Assisted Therapy financed, that’s alright. You can still glean some of the perks of AAT simply by owning a pet. We are not saying that owning a pet will give you the same results that, say, Therapeutic Riding would, but it’s a start.
It’s possible that it may not be neccessary to be in a therapeutic session assisted by an animal to see some health results.
An article from the New York Times reported the findings of a Japanese study about how pets affect health: “Pet owners made 30 percent fewer visits to the doctor.” That is powerful!
The good news is, you can often obtain a pet for free. Call your local humane society to ask about free (or discounted) cats, dogs, etc. Visit the Humane Society of Canada’s website for more information on pet adoption (https://www.humanesociety.com/component/mtree/Adopt%252Da%252DPet.html).
How have you financed Animal-Assisted Therapy?
Are you receiving Animal-Assisted Therapy? If so, do you have any tips for financing it? Feel free to leave us a comment about creative financing for AAT. Your thoughts and wisdom could help another Disability Living reader receive this helpful therapy.
*Please note: All research for this article is compiled from direct and third party sources. Mention of programs, organizations and companies does not imply support of The National Benefit Authority. Pictures are for creative purposes only; they are not intended to sell or promote products for the NBA and belong to the accredited individual, organization or company.
Let’s Talk About It
Have you ever been frustrated by not being able to pay for a therapy you needed?
Do you feel like the Canadian healthcare system appropriately values Animal-Assisted Therapy? Why or why not?