Having Access to the Care/Treatment of Your Choice and Getting it Covered
September 8, 2015
The PROMISE OF Sec 2706 Wouldn't it be nice to know that your health insurance will routinely provide access to and coverage for acupuncture, therapeutic massage, midwifery, chiropractic and naturopathic medicine (at least in those states where practitioners are licensed?) That scenario is possible today with the correct enforcement of Sec 2706 of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA contains several sections that direct the nation’s health care system to include the practices and practitioners of integrative health professionals (also called complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM, providers). Arguably one of the most important of these is Section 2706(a), “Non-Discrimination in healthcare” which is part of the ACA section entitled “Health Insurance Market Improvements.” That section also includes provisions that forbid insurers from excluding people with pre-existing conditions from coverage. If this is of interest to you (and I bet it is!) then the Integrative Health Policy Consortium's campaign "CoverMyCare" will also be music to your ears. The CoverMyCare site (www.covermycare.org) provides visitors with key information about Sec 2706 from both a patient and practitioner viewpoint - on a state and federal level. In fact, you will see how individual states have created their own bills that mirror the language of Section 2706. What's more Oregon and Rhode Island passed and their governors signed such bills in May and July. At least four more states are ready to do the same in 2016. How about it your state? If you are in a coalition supporting Section 2706 – or your state's version, please let us know about it! You can help make the case for the promise of Section 2706 by referring to another IHPC resource: "Integrative Health and Medicine - Today's Answer to Affordable Healthcare - Health Creation Economics." (Available here: http://www.ihpc.org/wp-content/uploads/IHPC-CE-Booklet-March2015.pdf) This data-packed booklet dispels the urban myth that integrative care is an add-on expense, by compiling solid research on the comparative cost-benefits for many types of treatments. The IHPC (www.ihpc.org) is a national non-profit 501(c)(4) consortium composed of 16 organizations and institutions (“Partners for Health”) that represent more than 400,000 licensed state and nationally certified healthcare professionals. Our mission is to advocate for an integrative healthcare system with equal access to the full range of health-oriented, person-centered, regulated healthcare professionals. And as CoverMyCare.org insists -- and Section 2706 now makes the law -- that equal access also means parity in the reimbursement insurance system for those who want to participate.