Petition Closed

-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.

Letter to
Petition AGAINST legislation mandating acupuncture insurance coverage in MA
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Petition AGAINST legislation mandating acupuncture insurance coverage in MA.

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Keep acupuncture as an optional, pay-out-of-pocket medical service

-The proposed Bill H3519 would have implications for increasing 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.
-Acupuncture is available for $15-40 per session out of pocket, without insurance, in community acupuncture clinics (http://www.pocacoop.com). Acupuncture need not be expensive, nor require insurance, to be affordable.
-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.
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Sincerely,