Alternative Therapy Coverage
The Increasing Role of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Modern Healthcare
Many people in the United States are increasingly utilizing the various forms of alternative medicine or CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine). CAM is a group of health related therapies and practices that are presently not recognized as part of traditional medicine. They include such treatments as acupuncture, manipulative body therapies (chiropractic and massage therapies), biologic therapies (herbal), energy healing, mind and body mediations (hypnosis, biofeedback and meditation), prayer and spiritual healing, to name a few.
The Center for Disease Control reported in 2004 that 36% of all americans used alternative therapy before 2002 and that 50% received CAM in their lifetime (Source: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults: United States, 2002, Center for Disease Control, May 27, 2004). Many feel the combination of traditional medicine with CAM therapies has increased healing capabilities. When these therapies are used to replace conventional medicine, they are termed "alternative." When the treatments are used with standard medical practice, they are termed "complementary."
Alternative Therapy Coverage from Traditional Insurance Providers
Many insurance companies across the country are now offering alternative therapy insurance on several of the CAM services, the most typical being chiropractic care, massage therapy, and acupuncture. These coverage options are mostly utilized by group employer health plans in response to requests by employees. Other CAM therapies offered less often in alternative therapy insurance are nutrition, biofeedback, naturopathy, homeopathy, acupressure and yoga.
Get a health insurance quote >>
Special optional riders can sometimes be found for CAM services. More often, however, insurance providers are offering discount plans, rather than a health insurance benefit. This means you get a discount from the providers, but the bill itself comes out of your pocket, with no reimbursement from an insurance company.
Choosing Complimentary And Alternative Medicine
The growing number of Americans making use of complementary and alternative medicine a year has made it one of the fastest growing segments in the health care industry. Even with public demand, however, insurance companies are hesitant to provide alternative therapy insurance coverage.
Read more about what these other types of coverage entail, and learn how they may benefit you.
Please note that Alternative Therapy Coverage or Alternative Therapy Insurance may not be a recognized insurance product in certain states. Please refer to the approved list of the Department of Insurance in your state.