2014 is drawing to a close! Feeling stressed or achy? Don’t suffer through the holidays — come see us! Acupuncture visits are typically authorized over the calendar year, so if you are using health insurance, and if your covered health condition is flaring in the midst of the holiday season, then make use your remaining visits before December 31. If you are unsure if you have any visits remaining, please call us at 651-224-6678.
And the next calendar year is looming, and that means, for many people, a turnover in health insurance. Your number of visits will likely reset, or perhaps even a new insurance plan will kick in. If you aren’t familiar with how it all works, here is a brief overview of insurance and acupuncture benefits.
Selby Acupuncture is an in-network provider with four insurance companies: Health Partners, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medica, and Preferred One. If you have acupuncture benefits with one of these providers, and if you are experiencing a health issue that is recognized by your insurance plan as treatable by acupuncture, then your office visit will cost you only a portion of the total bill (your “co-pay” or “co-insurance”), and we will bill your insurance for the remaining portion. Keep in mind, however, that some plans require that people meet a deductible first. In those cases, the patient pays the full price of the visit, which goes towards the deductible. Once the deductible is met, the patient pays only a portion. For specific information and acupuncture coverage according to your plan, call the customer service number on the back of your insurance card.
If your insurance plan covers only part of the cost of a visit – or doesn’t offer coverage at all – then you may want to find a way to defray your costs. In addition to your insurance plan, you might have a Health Savings Account (HSA), a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), or a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA). These are tax-exempt savings accounts, and the funds in them can be spent on a variety of healthcare costs, including acupuncture. One main difference between an HSA and an FSA is that if you do not use every penny of the HSA, the money will roll over from year to year. The money in an FSA does not roll over, and so must be utilized within one calendar year. An HRA is solely funded by an employer and can be rolled into future years for reimbursement as well. If you have any one of these accounts, you can use it to pay your office visit co-pays, or for the cash rate for acupuncture treatments (if your insurance plan does not have acupuncture benefits). Occasionally they will also cover herbs. Contact the administrator of your account to fully understand how you can spend the funds.
And if you haven’t elected a plan for 2015 yet and work for a company that provides health insurance, ask your Human Resources Department which plans cover acupuncture. If you are self-employed and electing your own benefits, ask a broker or carefully hunt through the plans available through MNsure. The use of acupuncture in your wellness plan is an investment in your self and is an act of health preservation and prevention!
We hope your 2014 ends on a good note, and we wish you the best for the year ahead!
(written by Kennedy)