The future of American Healthcare is changing and it is changing because of patient education and demands for alternative and better healthcare. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one such change and is a monumental gain for complimentary and alternative practitioners everywhere. Specifically, Section 2706 provides that insurers must include and reimburse for Naturopathic services. What this means for you, the patient, is more choices for health care providers like NDs, chiropractors and acupuncturists.
However, as with any change, progress can be slow, getting the word out can be difficult, and actual compliance with the law can be variable. One of the difficulties that we have encountered with implementing the law at the state level has been due to lack of awareness of the law or negative influences from staunch opponents of the bill. Another area of difficulty has been an informal guidance by the US Department of Health and Human Services that undermines the original law, which states “This provision does not require plans or issuers to accept all types of providers into a network.”
Ultimately, this law is meant to empower the patient, you, to have a voice in what kind of healthcare you want. It advocates patient-centered, prevention-oriented, whole person care and helps meet the increased need for primary care professionals. If Naturopathic coverage is a service you would like to have covered by your healthcare insurance or if you are simply passionate about complimentary and alternative services, I urge you to visit www.covermynd.org and send a message to your state officials expressing your support and interest in the matter.