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Insurance and Naturopathic Physicians

November 7, 2017

 

Many people assume that as a Naturopathic Doctor, we are not covered by insurance plans. This is not true. In Washington, we have what is called an every-provider-mandate. What that means is that if an insurance is based in Washington and the provider carries a license from the state, then the insurance must cover that type of provider. For example, Premera and Regence are both in-state plans, therefore they must cover Naturopathic Doctors. 

 

What people don't tend to realize is that it is very plan specific. If you have an employer sponsored plan, your HR department chose the packages available to the employees of the company. If they decided that naturopathic medicine and acupuncture weren't important points of coverage, then those services will not be covered. 

 

Now you may be tempted to go to your insurance log in portal to see if I, or another Naturopathic Doctor, is covered by your insurance. Lo and behold, you see my name and think, "huzzah!" Unfortunately, it doesn't stop there. The websites do not have ways to differentiate plans. You must call them on the phone (I know, that's pretty old school) and inquire if YOUR PLAN covers naturopathic medicine. When they say yes, make sure the doctor you want to see is in-network and now you can scream, "huzzah!"

 

What if the Naturopathic Doctor I want to see is not in-network? You can still see them, you will just be billed at out-of-network rates which may cost you a few more dollars. There are some plans that still cover 90% of costs even when out-of-network. Fifty-percent is more typical. 

 

What if my plan doesn't cover naturopathic medicine? You can still see us!! Just be prepared to pay a little bit more. If you have a Health Savings Account, that will also cover it. 

 

What about labs? Most labs are covered the same as if you were to see a Medical Doctor. Occasionally I recommend a lab that is not covered by insurance. Usually because we are testing food sensitivies, hormones, or poop. 

 

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