Health Net Introduces New Coverage for Acupuncture And Herbal Supplements

| July 23, 2011 | 0 Comments | 140 views

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif.,(BW HealthWire) -- Health Net, one of California's largest health plans, today announced a major expansion of its benefit offerings to provide coverage for acupuncture and herbal supplements.

"By offering covered benefits for acupuncture and herbal supplements, Health Net becomes an even more effective gateway to the care our members need and desire," said Cora Tellez, Health Net president and chief executive officer. "Our research shows a growing demand for care that complements traditional approaches. Adding acupuncture and herbal supplements continues our groundbreaking efforts to provide access to a wide range of quality treatments at an affordable cost."

The acupuncture and herbal coverage, which was approved July 5 by the California Department of Managed Health Care, expands on Health Net's existing complementary care offering. In 1990, Health Net was one of the first in the United States to offer direct coverage for chiropractic care, a feature utilized today by nearly 750,000 Health Net members.

"Acupuncture and other complementary care therapies have been proven in certain cases to be effective for such conditions as headaches, lower back pain, stroke rehabilitation, post-operative dental pain, and post-operative and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, among others," said Jennifer Gutzmore, Health Net senior vice president and chief medical officer. "We are excited to be able to offer these safe and effective treatment options as an alternative to traditional medical treatments."

Health Net's coverage of acupuncture and herbal supplements goes beyond what some other health plans offer in California. In addition to offering discount programs for complementary therapies, as some others do, Health Net's acupuncture and herbal supplements coverage allows members with HMO benefits to self-refer to an acupuncture provider and pay as little as nothing, or up to a $15 co-payment, depending on the type of plan they have.

Health Net's acupuncture and herbal supplement benefits will be offered as an optional feature to employer groups beginning Aug. 1, 2000, with initial effective dates of Sept. 1, 2000. The new benefits are available to employers offering Health Net commercial or Medicare HMO benefits. Qualified employers may choose to add just acupuncture benefits (with or without coverage for herbal supplements), or both acupuncture and chiropractic benefits.

The network of acupuncture providers is maintained by American Specialty Health Plan, a pioneer in the field of complementary medicine. Members may self-refer to any of the providers in American Specialty Health Plan's extensive network of licensed and credentialed professionals. After an initial examination, a treatment plan will be submitted by the acupuncturist to American Specialty Health Plan. Authorization of the treatment plan will be based on appropriateness and the member's individual needs.

For Health Net members whose employers do not choose the complementary care benefits, Health Net continues offering WellChoices, which provides significant discounts on acupuncture, chiropractic and massage therapy treatments. WellChoices, a service provided to all Health Net members, is not part of Health Net's covered benefits.

More information about Health Net's complementary care benefits is available by calling 800/448-4411, option 4. Information about WellChoices is available at 888/793-7746.

Health Net, a subsidiary of Foundation Health Systems Inc. (NYSE:FHS), is one of the largest network-model health plans in California, serving more than 2 million members statewide. It contracts with nearly 46,000 physicians, more than 400 hospitals and more than 4,300 pharmacies, giving its members greater choice and more convenient access to care.

Through its innovative products and services, Health Net has received a variety of prestigious awards, including the coveted C. Everett Koop National Health Award. For more information about Health Net, visit its award-winning Web site at

(From HealthWorld Online)


Category: News & Events for Health

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