Does My Health Insurance Cover Alternative Medicine?
If you are interested in utilizing alternative medicine and therapy, you are probably wondering if it is covered by your health insurance. If you have been lucky enough to find a method of treatment that is effective for whatever is ailing you, you are most likely interested in continuing such treatment. It would be frustrating to find out that what is working for you or something that you would like to try isn’t covered by your health insurance. What is covered by your health insurance depends on a variety of factors including whether or not you have private health insurance or health insurance through your employer, the region that you live in, and your particular insurance provider.
Some examples of alternative medicine are chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, massage therapy, biofeedback, and naturopathy.
Individuals who have health insurance through their employer usually have coverage for various forms of alternative medicine, but what is covered and to what degree often varies. Some PPO plans offer coverage for chiropractic, acupuncture coverage, and massage therapy because of the growing demand for these types of treatments and the fact that their effectiveness has been validated through medical studies. People who seek these types of treatment are taking control of their health and being proactive about it, which can sometimes actually keep insurance costs down for the insurance provider.
Since coverage for alternative medicine and therapy varies so greatly, it is a good idea to speak with your insurance provider to discuss what your plan covers and how much is covered. If your plan does cover alternative medicine treatment that you are interested in utilizing, make sure that you get all of the specifics regarding pre-authorizations, in-network care providers, number of visits covered, dollar amount covered, and deductibles. Be sure to write down the name of the person you spoke with and the date and time, in case you run into any problems regarding coverage following a treatment. Also be sure to ask potential treatment providers questions regarding co-payments, referrals, how many treatments will be needed, tests or other services that will be required and additional equipment, supplies, or dietary supplements that will be recommended.
Many types of alternative medicine have been proven effective in the treatment of a variety of conditions. While not all health insurance plans cover alternative medicine, there are many that do. To avoid unexpected out-of-pocket expenses, be sure to do your homework and discuss your coverage with your insurance provider and also discuss specifics with potential care providers where you may seek treatment.