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Is acupuncture covered by health insurance?

Thumbtack Editors

Acupuncture cost may be paid out of pocket by the individual, may be partially covered by an insurance plan, or in some cases may be entirely covered by a health insurance provider. Depending on the health concern you are having treated, the policies of your insurance provider, and whether you have received referrals from a physician, you may receive coverage for your acupuncture costs. If you currently have health insurance, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends that you ask these questions to confirm who will cover the acupuncture cost:

    • Is acupuncture covered for my health condition?
    • Does acupuncture need to be:
      • Pre-authorized or pre-approved? If so, by whom?
      • Ordered by prescription?
    • Does acupuncture require a referral?
    • Do I need to see an in-network practitioner to have acupuncture costs covered?
    • Do I have any coverage if I choose an out-of-network provider?
    • What, if any, are the limits and requirements of acupuncture cost coverage?
    • How much do I have to pay out-of-pocket?

HHS recommends that you keep copies of all communications you have with your insurance company, as well as keeping copies of letters, bills and claims. If you’re in the process of selecting a new health insurance provider, HHS suggests you ask about coverage of complementary or integrative health approaches, and whether the provider offers any discount programs for acupuncture and other integrative health modalities.  

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