Acupressure, aromatherapy and acupuncture were once thought to be practices reserved for the spiritual. However, alternative medical practices such as these are now becoming more common place. In fact, a The National Health Statistics Report of 2007 showed that four in every 10 respondents in the survey made use of some sort of alternative medical therapy.
There are so many reasons as to why so many people are opting for alternative medicine as opposed to traditional medical treatment. Some seek out homeopaths because they have had bad experiences with mainstream medicine. Others opt for these forms of treatment because they offer a holistic approach to health.
The real cost of alternative medical therapy
Alternative medicine isn’t cheap. In fact, the NHS Report revealed that that more than $34 billion was spent out of pocket on complementary and alternative medicine costs. Unfortunately, many peoples’ personal injury protection policies don’t cover alternative medicine, despite its wide use. The popularity of alternative medicine is growing as more people seek natural remedies for their ailments. The costs for these therapies are also growing.
Does your insurance cover alternative medicine?
Insurance providers are mandated by the Affordable Care Act to avoid discrimination against different health care providers, as long as they are licensed. This means that acupuncturists, chiropractors, and other alternative medicine practitioners ought to be accepted by insurance companies as service providers.
Despite the legislation, insurance companies often limit their coverage. This allows them to eliminate any therapy they deem experimental or any treatment that they think is not necessarily medical. In many cases, this includes alternative medical therapies.
The best way to make sure you’re not unpleasantly surprised by your bill is to study your personal injury protection policy carefully and compare quotes from various insurance providers. Determine what other providers offer and decide if you should switch insurers.
Coverage for alternative medicine isn’t one size fits all; it varies from one insurance provider to another. While some policies will provide coverage, others won’t. It is therefore important to ask the right questions when seeking insurance.
Here are a few things you can do to make sure you have the right coverage for you:
- 1. Talk to insurance providers
As you compare quotes for different insurance companies online, be sure to talk to insurance providers directly too. This will allow you to get answers to some important questions regarding coverage for alternative medicine. Ask the insurance provider the following questions about their personal injury protection plans:
- Do they cover the alternative treatment that you’re interested in?
- Do you need to be referred or have the treatment prescribed to you by a general practitioner?
- Is there a limit to the number of visits covered by their policy?
- Do they have a local network of alternative medicine practitioners that are licensed in the area of treatment you’re seeking to be covered for?
- 2. Talk to local practitioners
You can also find out more about insurance and being covered by talking to local practitioners. They can tell you which insurance companies to approach and which type of insurance plans would be suitable.
Treatments such as chiropractic care tend to cost a lot more for the first few visits. Follow-up visits cost much less. Find out from the practitioner how many visits a patient would typically need to be on the road to recovery. This information will help you determine which policy to choose.
- 3. Inquire about additional expenses
Find out if you will need to add supplemental coverage in order for your policy to pay for any alternative treatments. Some insurance providers will require you to pay for an add-on in order to provide cover for alternative treatments.
- 4. Negotiate for coverage
If your insurance provider doesn’t offer coverage for alternative medicine, don’t throw in the towel. Negotiate with your provider to find out if they would be willing to include it in your plan and what it would take to make that happen. You may negotiate to pay slightly more for this or to have it included as a discount.
If you use alternative medical treatments often, you should be sure they’re covered under your insurance. This will ensure that you don’t drain your finances as you seek treatment.