A regional survey of health insurance coverage for complementary and alternative medicine: current status and future ramifications.J Altern Complement Med. 2001 Jun; 7(3):269-73.JA
The purpose of this survey is to evaluate the extent of health insurance coverage for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) within one region in the United States, a study prompted by the increased utilization of CAM.
Prospective telephone interview of health insurance representatives.
A contiguous three-state area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) in the North-east.
Almost all of the insurers surveyed cover chiropractic services. Less than half of the insurers reimburse acupuncture, usually for chronic pain management. Coverage for massage therapy is minimal and usually associated with physical therapy or chiropractic treatment. Other CAM services receive negligible coverage.
Current health insurance coverage of CAM is limited essentially to chiropractic medicine, acupuncture and massage therapy. Coverage of CAM is made confusing by different policies, practitioner requirements, and health plans within each carrier.