NHFA Opposes 2014 Massachusetts House Bill No. 1898 Re: Consumer Requirements for Obtaining Insurance Coverage for Holistic Health Care

April 29 , 2014

NHFA Opposes 2014 Massachusetts House Bill No. 1898 Re: Consumer Requirements for Obtaining Insurance Coverage for Holistic Health Care

NHFA Opposes MA House Bill No. 1898 because it mandates rigid, third-party interest compliance requirements for health seekers who wish to obtain insurance coverage for natural health treatments . This bill is an affront to the integrity and health freedoms of all health seekers.

MA House Bill No. 1898 takes the desire for insurance coverage for natural health and designs a mechanism that demeans consumers and health seekers. Instead of just requesting that laws be passed mandating such coverage, the bill sets up an entire structure and regulatory plan impacting consumers to say how this might happen. If the bill was written to get a “foot in the door”, it goes way too far in compromising consumers’ wishes by agreeing to mandates that a person go to a particular type of holistic practitioner with a particular type of approved plan of treatment. This bill sacrifices patient autonomy and integrity. There is no need for this type of micro-managing and regulating of patients and their freedom of choice. This bill would rob health seekers of their own intimate timeline for their healing path and seriously jeopardizes them by suggesting that people who use natural health have to be managed and comply with a particular path, treatment-wise and money-wise, set out for them by other persons, i.e., practitioner and insurance agents.

NHFA Opposes House Bill No. 1898 because the design plan involves, for example, such things as: a Naturopathic Physician having authority to make a treatment plan and to mandate the number of visits and treatments to participate in; and compliance measures that a consumer would be mandated to abide by before getting the insurance. It also gives the practitioner the authority, in partnering with the insurance company, to decide how much money to allocate to a patient and what the compliance parameters would be to receive the money or have the money returned or not given at all. This bill could be seen as setting-up a perpetual market for a special interest group, similar to the MDs.

NHFA strongly opposes this bill.

This bill should instead simply request that people be able to use a natural health practitioner legally practicing in their state, just like they use a MD, and to have the prescribed prescription – whatever that may be – covered by insurance.

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