On June 23 call your representatives and ask them to support HR 646, The Federal Acupuncture Coverage Act. Acupuncture & Massage College is asking the AOM community—practitioners, students, schools, state associations, and our patient community—to flood the phone lines.
Call your congressional representative and ask him or her to co-sponsor HR 646. Call your senators and ask them to co-sponsor a companion bill to HR 646. Call the President at (202) 456-1111 and ask him to include HR 646 in the Healthcare Reform Act.
Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) has reintroduced legislation that would make acupuncture a covered service for Medicare and the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program participants.
H.R. 646, introduced in House on January 22, would amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for coverage of qualified acupuncturist services under part B of the Medicare Program, and to amend title 5, United States Code, to provide for coverage of such services under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
The Federal Acupuncture Coverage Act would provide access to acupuncture for Medicare's 44 million beneficiaries and the 8 million federal workers, their dependents and retirees who are covered under the FEHB.
Hinchey has introduced The Federal Acupuncture Coverage Act since 1993, his first year in Congress. Hinchey previously advocated for acupuncturists at the state level, where as a member of the New York State Assembly, he introduced and secured passage of legislation to license acupuncturists in the state.
"Passage of this bill would provide 52 million Americans with health coverage for acupuncture services. This is the humane thing to do and I encourage my colleagues to pass this important piece of legislation," says Hinchey.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) formed a consensus in 1997 that acupuncture works well for many ailments and should be included in national health care insurance plans. There are numerous studies which support acupuncture therapy as an effective form of treatment for a wide range of health conditions.
More and more acupuncturists are signing up to become acupuncture providers for insurance companies. Many private insurance companies now offer policies that cover acupuncture and related services performed by an acupuncturist. You can find out if your insurance provides acupuncture benefits by calling your insurance company's patient information or benefits line. This number can be found on your insurance card.
For information about Acupuncture & Massage College’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs call Joe Calareso, Admissions Director, at (305) 595-9500. June 20.