Update on Acupuncture and Insurance in Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act has people in an uproar for may reasons.  On the up side, if you seek acupuncture treatment the Affordable Care Act may benefit you.

According to Sec 2706, Non-Discrimination in Health Care, insurers can not discriminate against any health provider acting within the scope of their state license or certificate.  As acupuncturists are licensed by the board of medical examiners, this means that insurance companies cannot exclude acupuncturists from practicing and limiting benefits for acupuncture to MDs.  So, if you have acupuncture coverage but are limited to see an MD, beginning in 2014, you will be able to see a licensed acupuncturist.

However, some states have better news than others.  In 2012-2013 when the implementation of “Essential Health Benefits” occurred, states decided the minimal health insurance plan or allowance. All plans must cover the minimum that these plans offer.  Some states include acupuncture as an Essential Health Benefit.  Unfortunately, here in New Jersey, acupuncture is not covered as an EHB except when used as a substitute for other forms of anesthesia.

The jury is definitely out when it comes to this conflict in NJ. Stay tuned and I will update are we get more clarity.

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