Many Health Plans Offer Only Limited Coverage - If At All - For Alternative Therapies

Los Angeles Times: "Most individuals with private insurance have little, if any, coverage for alternative medicine." People with "employer-based insurance often have some coverage," but it is typically limited to only certain treatments "and comes with more stipulations — like higher deductibles and preauthorization — than traditional care. ... [But] Americans spend more than $33 billion annually on complementary treatments, amounting to just over 11% of the total out-of-pocket health care spending in the United States, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine." And much of that amount is spent by people with insurance. "Even if your health insurance plan doesn't cover alternative therapies, there are things you can do to get the most out of your policy" (Worth, 9/27).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.