Post by Julie Pampinella
For many, the onset of winter and shorter days brings on feelings of fatigue, sadness, anxiety and depression. Day Light Classic affects SO many, apparently, that many health insurance plans actually cover most or all of the cost of a light box. I was so excited to discover that this year – and want to pass this info on to you!
I decided to experiment with a light box this year to manage mild fatigue and sleep pattern disturbance related to the shorter, darker days. My insurance is HMO Blue, and not a fancy plan, either. I called them and they told me that light boxes are listed as “durable medical equipment,” and told me my plan fully covered a certain dollar amount of durable medical equipment every year, with no out-of-pocket costs. (Queue angels singing…)
HMO Blue requires a letter with a diagnosis of a “depressive episode” (there is no diagnosis code for seasonal affective disorder) from a licensed therapist or primary care physician for a light box. I called a local medical equipment distributor and was told to bring the letter and my insurance card in, and they would get it approved by my insurance, place the order and the light box would be delivered to me. It took about two weeks, but today I received a very happy looking “Day Light Classic” in a bright yellow box.
I am looking forward to adding light box therapy to my current self-care regimen (chiropractic adjustments, Vitamin D, Omega 3’s, and exercise) to move through the season with increased energy and mood. I plan to sit for 20-30 minutes a day, and figure that will be the perfect opportunity to begin meditating regularly!
If you are fighting the winter blues, having trouble sleeping, and want to improve your mood and energy, don’t wait — call your health insurance provider to find out if a light box is covered! You may be two weeks (or less) away from seeing the light!