One of the most common questions right now is about insurance. If you’re considering buying a light box you may be able to get reimbursed for the cost from your insurance company. But just like anything to do with medical insurance, it requires getting the proper paperwork from your doctor and meeting the insurance company’s requirements for diagnosis and in some cases, the type of equipment or medical device.

Most insurance that reimburse for light boxes put them in the category of durable medical equipment (DME). BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota defines durable medical equipment as:

Medical equipment prescribed by a physician that meets each of the following requirements:

  • Ability to withstand repeated use; and
  • Used primarily for a medical purpose; and
  • Generally not useful in the absence of illness or injury; and
  • Determined to be reasonable and necessary; and
  • Represents the most cost-effective alternative

Our light box will easily meet the first two criteria. It stands to reason you won’t need the light box when you’re not suffering from seasonal affective disorder, so the third requirement is a statement of the obvious.

The fourth requirement, determined to be reasonable and necessary, as well as the fifth, represents the most cost-effective alternative,” are generally what you need your doctor or medical professional to say in a letter of medical necessity.

Insurance companies require doctors to cite specific diagnostic codes and clinical documentation for the disorder. In other words, your doctor has to say your symptoms match the symptoms for SAD or any other mood disorder. Which is why we have the insurance form for you and your doctor to fill out on our home page.

Some require that your light box is a table top model, which means they may not reimburse you for any stands. But you can always buy those once they reimburse you. And some insurance plans specify that the light box must be 10,000 lux minimum, the long-standing clinical standard for light boxes, which our box is 10,000 lux.

What if your insurance company doesn’t reimburse you? Buy the light box anyway.

If you use it daily for five months,  say November through March, a $300 light box will cost you about $2 per day, less than the cost of the latte you buy without thinking. Our therapy lamp will make you feel better and it will be there next season, or whenever you need it.

If it doesn’t help you, you have 30 days to return it and you will only have to pay the cost of the return shipping and a restocking fee.