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Is recreational therapy paid for by insurance? Are there free programs?

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Medical Professional

Answer transcribed from Brightway's interview with recreational therapist Allison Huck:


Recreation therapy is not typically covered by insurance. The good news is that a lot of our programs are free or low cost. Hospitals typically employ recreational therapists as part of their package deal. When you get a hospital bill, you might get services billed or there are things that are packaged deals and rec therapy would be included in that, so there's no extra charge. As far as our community programs go, a lot of ours are at no cost to our participants. A lot of them are free or low cost or on a sliding scale. 


At Medstar NRH, our programming is free. We do a lot of fundraising by applying for different grants to help support our programs throughout the year. For our biggest fundraiser, we do a big annual 5k called the super h5k runway wheel, which is always a really big hit. Our adaptive cyclists come out and ride in it. We've also got people running and it's great. There are people with strollers, dogs, and everything you name it, they're racing the same. Last year was a virtual race, which was a lot of fun. That's just a really good way for people of all levels to come out. They support each other and we help raise money to keep all of our programming accessible to everyone in our area. The takeaway is that a lot of programs are available free. I think the greatest thing about us not being paid for by insurance is that they are still available and accessible, and that's something that our field really strives for.