Acupuncture Insurance Coverage FAQs

Do Covered California insurance plans include acupuncture benefits?

Yes. Covered California has listed acupuncture as an essential health benefit so all individual and small group health plans will include acupuncture coverage for conditions deemed by the insurance companies as a medical necessity.

What is health insurance covering when it comes to acupuncture?

What is Considered Medically Necessary?

More than you might think. Under Covered California Insurance plans acupuncture and electroacupuncture are only considered medically necessary for conditions of physical pain and that inhibits function. Preventative treatments for colds/flus or acupuncture for stress are not covered by the Covered California plans.

Acupuncture Benefits

Conditions Covered by Acupuncture Include:

  • Headaches including migraine, tension headaches and post traumatic headaches
  • Chronic low back pain
  • Lumbar disc protrusion
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • Muscle pain (myalgia)
  • Nausea related to chemotherapy,  post surgery or pregnancy

This is Good News for People Suffering from Chronic Pain and Headaches

Acupuncture follows the tenets Chinese Medicine, focusing on treating the whole person and the root cause of the pain, not just masking or managing symptoms.

For example, in treatment of chronic tension headaches,  your acupuncturist might treat the headache directly and may also treat your stress level and balance the internal organs to address the underlying constitution that is fueling the headaches. Your acupuncturist may make suggestions about diet, exercise, and herbs that work on the root level. Just be aware that your insurance will not cover those herbs.

Seek an acupuncturist who has the ability to assess western conditions and as well assess and treat the underlying constitutional imbalances. This is the key to finding quality collaborative care that keeps to the traditional model that works but also embraces the needs of the times.






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