Fact or fiction? Alternative medicine covered

Claim: Under health reform, most insurance plans will cover visits to chiropractors and naturopaths.

Many insurance plans do not cover alternative treatments, such as naturopathic medicine. According to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, although naturopathic doctors are licensed in 15 states and the District of Columbia, many insurance plans don't reimburse their services. Naturopathic treatment is also not covered by Medicare and only in Vermont is it covered by Medicaid.

Fact or fiction?
Fiction. A provision in the bill passed by the Senate health committee contains a non-discrimination clause which says that no health plan or insurer may discriminate against any health provider acting within the scope of that provider’s license. According to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and the American Chiropractic Association, this provision means that a new government public plan would reimburse services provided by at least some naturopathic physicians and chiropractors. But this clause would not force employer-sponsored insurance plans to pay for naturopathic, chiropractic or other alternative treatments. It remains to be seen whether the non-discrimination clause survives in the final bargaining over the House-Senate compromise bill.

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