Acu-For-Blue: Bringing Acupuncture Coverage to the Members of Blue Cross of Idaho
Acupuncture should be a covered benefit for members under the Blue Cross of Idaho health insurance plan.
Who does this effect?
Currently Blue Cross of Idaho does not offer acupuncture as a covered benefit for its members. Blue Cross of Idaho is the only medical insurance offered to the employees of the University of Idaho, Latah County, and Gritman Medical. These organizations are some of Moscow, Idaho's largest employers, which means that a majority of Moscow's residents do not have acupuncture coverage.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that uses small, sterile needles to pierce the skin at very specific locations in the body to create a therapeutic effect. Acupuncture is safe, natural, drug-free and effective. *Acupuncture is recognized by leading national and international health organizations to be effective in the treatment of a variety of medical problems including: addiction, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue, colitis, common cold, constipation, dental pain, depression, diarrhea, digestive trouble, dizziness, dysentery, emotional problems, eye problems, facial palsy, fatigue, fertility, fibromyalgia, gingivitis, headache, hiccough, incontinence, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, low back pain, menopause, menstrual irregularities, migraine, morning sickness, nausea, osteoarthritis, pain, PMS, pneumonia, reproductive problems, rhinitis, sciatica, seasonal affective disorder, shoulder pain, sinusitis, sleep disturbances, smoking cessation, sore throat, stress, tennis elbow, tonsillitis, tooth pain, trigeminal neuralgia, urinary tract infections and vomiting.
Why should acupuncture be included in Blue Cross of Idaho’s benefits package?
Acupuncture has many strengths. 1. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine not only treats and controls existing health conditions, but it also prevents major health issues from even starting. From a financial standpoint, this is a much better health care model than the current western medical model which focuses mainly on the treatment of existing health conditions - often with expensive medications and surgical procedures. 2. In addition to the above consideration, acupuncture is more financially affordable because acupuncturist fees are consistently lower than MDs, DOs and surgeon fees!
What insurance companies currently offer acupuncture coverage?
On the Palouse, there are over 20 different insurance companies that provide some sort of acupuncture coverage for its members. Here is a list of a few of the known insurance companies that cover acupuncture in our area:
Aetna, Allegiance Life and Health Insurance Company, Ameriben Solutions, Asuris Northwest Health, CAS Benefit Plan, Cigna Great West, Country Financial, First Choice Health Network, Group Health Cooperative, Lifewise of Washington, Mutual of Enumclaw, Premera Blue Cross, Providence Health Solutions, Regence Blue Shield of Idaho, Regence Blue Shield of Idaho Federal Plan, Regence Blue Shield of Idaho Uniform Medical Plan, State Farm Insurance Companies, The Mail Handlers Benefit Plan, UMR, and United HealthCare.
It is time for Blue Cross of Idaho to join the network of insurance companies that cover acupuncture for its members!