In 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, a health insurance reform law intended to ensure access to quality and affordable health insurance for all Americans. Starting in 2014, most health plans will be required to offer a comprehensive package of items and services to patients, known as “essential health benefits” (EHB). Under the new law, EHB must cover certain specific services including emergency services, maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs as well as preventive and wellness services, among others.
Help make sure that Acupuncture is considered as an Essential Health Benefit – and become a health service that is covered by insurances.
Public Input is Needed:
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently accepting input regarding their approach to establishing Essential Health Benefits (EHBs). (Note – this is a comprehensive 15 page PDF file on this topic — plan to set aside some time if you plan to read it completely.)
A strong public show of support for acupuncture as an essential health benefit should become noticed by policymakers and will hopefully lay a solid foundation for future federal acupuncture initiatives.
Take action now:
Send an email to the address(s) below to show your support for Essential Health Benefits.
Emails should request that acupuncture be designated as an essential benefit service and should share the benefits of acupuncture and its cost effectiveness.
A sample letter is included below.
To send a message to the Department of Health Human Services, simply visit the website for the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine which will easily send your information on. You may also email directly to: EssentialHealthBenefits@cms.hhs.gov, please carbon copy EHB@aaaomonline.org so that the AAAOM can track the responses sent.
Important - The deadline for is January 31, 2012.
Sample Essential Health Benefit letter:
If sending by e-mail
If sending by snail mail- sample letter below
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
To Whom It May Concern:
In response to The Department of Health and Human Services 12/16/11 bulletin outlining proposed policies that will give states more flexibility to implement the Affordable Care Act, please accept my comments contained in this letter and include same as part of the Public Comment period due by 1/31/12:
1. I [have been or am currently] a patient of acupuncture and consider it an essential part of my health care. [Describe your success story here.]
2. Acupuncture should be included as an Essential Health Benefit by HHS under the Affordable Care Act.
3. States should be specifically directed by HHS to include acupuncture in their Essential Health Benefits Package.
—– Thank you for your support of Acupuncture —–