Obamacare Boosts Alternative Medicine

Many people are not aware that ObamaCare provides coverage for alternative medicine.  Since millions of Americans greatly benefit from alternative types of medicine, this may greatly increase the need for chiropractors, acupuncture, massage therapy, etc.

“And with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the [alternative medicine] field could make even more headway in the mainstream health care system. That is, unless the fine print — in state legislation and insurance plans — falls short because of unclear language and insufficient oversight.

One clause of the health law in particular — Section 2706 — is widely discussed in the alternative medicine community because it requires that insurance companies “shall not discriminate” against any health provider with a state-recognized license. That means a licensed chiropractor treating a patient for back pain, for instance, must be reimbursed the same as medical doctors. In addition, nods to alternative medicine are threaded through other parts of the law in sections on wellness, prevention and research.”

From Kaiser News July 29, 2013

We continue to learn more everyday about Obamacare and how it might impact healthcare providers and patients.  One little known fact is that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expands coverage for many Americans who gain great comfort and relief through the use of alternative medicine.  According to the National Institute of Health, 4 out of 10 Americans use some form of alternative medicine.

Currently, it is uncommon for health insurance to cover many forms of alternative medicine such as acupuncture, chiropractors, etc.  Although the ACA’s language covers alternative medicine, many states are excluding such coverage initially.  California, for example, has not included coverage for chiropractors in its essential benefit package.  It is unclear whether this is a violation of the ACA. 

We will have to wait to see the implementation in other states to determine if alternative medicine coverage will be common place.  If the only treatment that works for your back pain is an adjustment by your favorite chiropractor, you may get coverage through your healthexchange insurance plan.  More to come……

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