This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Getting to ‘Yes’ with an Insurer C


onven- tional


insur-


ance rules adversely affect


Americans’ consider- ation of comple- men-


tary and alterna-


tive medicine (CAM). According to the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, acupuncture, chiropractic and massage therapy use increased over the prior decade, but only among those without insurance. For those with progressive policies, coverage for CAM approaches is usually only partial.


Know What a Policy Covers Before using a complementary or integrative service, inquire about specifics: Sometimes preapproval or a referral is required to qualify; coverage may be limited to a certain network of practitioners; verify visit limits or the number required; and get details of out-of-pocket costs. Keep insurance- related communications records, including notes on calls and copies of bills, claims and letters, to help with any claim disputes.


Explore Available Options Ask the insurance provider about coverage of CAM approaches, includ- ing whether a rider or supplement to the standard plan is required to cover them. Inquire about discount pro- grams, such as when members pay for fees and out-of-pocket costs, but at a lower rate. State insurance depart- ments and professional associations for complementary health specialties may know which insurance companies cover specific CAM approaches.


Ask Practitioners About Payments


When seeing a complementary or integrative practitioner, clarify pay-


natural awakenings January 2017 39


ment and insurance details before the first visit. Learn the cost of initial and follow-up appointments; how many appointments are needed; additional costs such as for tests, supplements or equipment; and if they offer an in- come-based sliding scale. Also confirm which insurance plans are accepted and if the patient or provider files claims. When insurance doesn’t cover a service, inquire about installment plans and discounts for cash payments.


Tax-Exempt Accounts Flexible spending accounts offered by some employers allow participants to set aside pretax dollars for health-relat- ed expenses. Health savings accounts can be established by individuals with high-deductible health plans to save for medical expenses. Contributions are tax-deductible and interest is tax-free.


Source: National Center for Comple- mentary and Integrative Health


Jeanette Dietl/Shutterstock.com


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64