• Petitioned Petition AGAINST legislation mandating acupuncture insurance coverage in MA

This petition was delivered to:

Petition AGAINST legislation mandating acupuncture insurance coverage in MA

Prevent rising costs of acupuncture, health care and taxes to MA residents

    1. Petition by

      Justine Deutsch

      Somerville, MA

-The proposed Bill H3519, which would mandate insurance coverage for acupuncture in the state of Massachusetts, might have unintended consequences of limiting access rather than increasing it because of the additional burden of administrative costs for providers and insurance companies that will be passed on to the consumer.

-Insurance coverage of acupuncture implies an increase the overall cost of delivering acupuncture, and thus health insurance premiums, due to additional increase in the cost of the ability to provide these services, such as administrative duties, by medical providers (acupuncturists).

-Health insurance coverage is required for all residents of Massachusetts; therefore it is anticipated that this bill would increase health insurance premiums to all state residents.

-This plan would cost Massachusetts taxpayers more money.  To prevent federal dollars going to state benefit mandates, the health reform law requires states to defray the cost of benefits required by state law in excess of essential health benefits for individuals enrolled in any plan offered through an Exchange.  (http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2011/12/essential-health-benefits12162011a.html)

-Mandating acupuncture insurance is likely to increase state expenses while damaging the most viable acupuncture businesses in the state: Community Acupuncture Practices (CAPs).  CAPs are affordable acupuncture clinics offering acupuncture for $15-40 per treatment on a sliding scale, out of pocket and without insurance (http://www.pocacoop.com).  Acupuncture need not be expensive, nor require insurance, to be affordable and accessible.

-CAPs are a relatively new model of business.  There are currently 19 CAPs in Massachusetts, and as of May 2011 there were 189 CAPs in the USA.  It is estimated that roughly 687,960 treatments will have been given by these clinics in 2011 (https://www.pocacoop.com/prick-prod-provoke/post/conference-keynote-breaking-the-ceiling).  These clinics offer care to thousands of patients annually, and create jobs, unlike most other acupuncture practices charging high priced, boutique-style private treatments seeking to utilize insurance as a means of doing business in a high cost, unsustainable manner.

-Co-pays for insurance coverage are comparable to the costs of affordable acupuncture visits ($15-40); therefore, insurance is unnecessary and only contributes to the rising costs of health care in society.

-There are likely to be scope of service limitations. Acupuncture is likely to be acceptable only for specific conditions and for a certain number of sessions per year. Limits may be insufficient for those utilizing these services. Those wishing to continue care out-of-pocket with their providers after insurance has run out are likely to be required to pay $75-100 or more per session, which is out of reach for most people.

Recent signatures


    1. 63 Signatures as of Thursday, 12/29/11 at 9 AM!

      Justine Deutsch
      Petition Organizer

      We're making progress!

    2. Reached 50 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Heather Bowen HULL, MA
      • almost 3 years ago

      I recently found community acupuncture and it WORKS for my treating my chronic migraines. Weekly sessions are affordable through community acupuncture with no hassle. Mandating insurance coverage might actually hurt, esp. if there are limits to how many times per year one can be treated and would create a bureaucratic hassle. What we need are more community acupuncture clinics and optional, not mandated, coverage of acupuncture.

    • Diane Biase SOMERVILLE, MA
      • almost 3 years ago

      Acupuncture helps many but must stay at reasonable costs or many won't have access to it. This bill will add to the costs.....

    • John Valorz PLYMOUTH, MA
      • almost 3 years ago

      Mandating any coverage eliminates an individuals rights to choose what coverage he/she wants

    • Dennis Willmont MARSHFIELD, MA
      • almost 3 years ago

      Acupuncture should never be in the hands of the government or Big Business!!!

    • Mary Shillue CAMBRIDGE, MA
      • almost 3 years ago

      Acupuncture coverages should be optional.


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