Insurance coverage for acupuncture on the rise from 2010 to 2019 – Consumer Health News

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FRIDAY, Jan. 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Insurance coverage for acupuncturist visits increased from 2010 to 2019, but most costs are paid out of pocket, according to a research letter posted online Jan. 12 in Open JAMA Network.

Molly Candon, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and her colleagues examined insurance coverage for acupuncturist visits between 2010 and 2019 using expenditure panel survey data medical.

Researchers found that the proportion of respondents (mean age, 51.9) with at least one acupuncturist visit increased from 0.4% in 2010 to 0.8% in 2019. The average total annual amount paid for acupuncturist visits increased significantly ($593.00 in 2010-2011). and $1,021.57 in 2018-2019). Changes in the annual amount paid out of pocket increased by a non-significant average difference of $179 over the study period. An increase in acupuncturist visits among users (average of 5.4 visits per person in 2010 to 8.2 visits per person in 2019) explains the increase in expenditure. There was an increase in the share of acupuncturist visits with insurance coverage from an average of 41.1% in 2010-2011 to 50.2% in 2018-2019, while the percentage paid out of pocket decreased (mean difference, -9.4 percentage points) .

“Insurers should be encouraged to cover safe, inexpensive, and evidence-based approaches to comprehensive pain treatment, including acupuncture therapy,” the authors write.

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