CFI to HHS: Don’t Force Insurers to Pay for Acupuncture
The Center for Inquiry (CFI) today wrote to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking her to reject lobbying efforts to require health insurance providers and organizations to cover acupuncture, and instead base the government’s rules for health care coverage on science and reason.
As you might have already heard, the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) and other alternative medicine interest groups are attempting to persuade HHS to categorize acupuncture as an Essential Health Benefit (EHB) under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This designation would require health insurance providers and organizations providing health care plans to cover the practice without a co-pay, deductible, or additional insurance.
According to the Institute of Medicine, for a service to be eligible as an EHB, it must: (1) be safe, (2) be medically effective, (3) demonstrate meaningful improvement, (4) be a medical service, and (5) be cost effective.
As we write in our letter, acupuncture meets none of these five criteria.