Acupuncture Defined as Essential Health Benefit in Washington State for ACA Health Exchange Insurance Plans

Recent legislation passed in Washington state that goes into effect in January of 2014 establishes acupuncture as an essential health benefit according to the ACA (Affordable Care Act). This means that insurance companies operating in Washington state or insurance companies offering insurance in Wa state as part of the health insurance exchanges are required to cover acupuncture. This is great news for residents of Washington state because acupuncture was not included as an essential health benefit in many states across the country in time for the January 2014 deadline when much of the ACA goes into effect.

Acupuncture is an safe and effective medical treatment for a wide variety of medical conditions. See:

One interesting component of the new Washington state law dictating coverage is that unlimited acupuncture treatment is required to be covered for the treatment of addiction and chemical dependency treatment.

If you have acupuncture coverage for the first time now thanks to the Affordable Care Act, there are a few things to think about when looking for a practitioner:

Make sure she or he is NCCAOM certified. The NCCAOM is the national credentialing body that ensures your practitioner meets the highest national and local standards for education and clinical training.

Choose a practitioner who has experience in the medical area that you are seeking treatment.

Call the practitioner and also your health insurance plan before receiving any treatment to confirm that your acupuncturist is a preferred provider for your new health insurance plan so you don’t get any surprise bills later!

If you have additional questions about acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, or insurance coverage for acupuncture in Washington State, please do not hesitate to contact me, Monica Legatt: