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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Insurance coverage for Reiki, other complementary therapies could lower costs

Health insurance plans don't usually cover Reiki treatments -- not even plans that offer coverage for other complementary therapies such as acupuncture. But one company in Wisconsin has been including coverage for Reiki, massage, craniosacral therapy, naturopathy and acupuncture as part of its standard plan for the past four years, and a company spokesperson says the policy may actually be saving money.

The Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin pays up to $375 per member per year for complementary therapies, and currently has 45 practitioners working in four different clinics. The services were added at the suggestion of a local doctor who had herself benefited from alternative treatments for fibromyalgia.

While most insurance companies consider complementary and alternative therapies to be unaffordable luxuries, GHC's marketing manager says officials believe the policy will reduce the amount it spends on prescription drugs. The numbers aren't in on that yet, but meanwhile, GHC made the top 10 health plans in U.S. News & World Report's annual survey of consumer satisfaction and success in preventing and treating illness.


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