Tuesday, March 04, 2008

No Insurance of Effectiveness...

Well, I'm in a bit of a grumbly mood because scant hours ago I got out of a meeting at work that was called to explain how our employee health insurance premiums went up by something like 12% this year. Fair enough - inflation, litigation, and real costs affect insurance premiums and if I were buying it privately I'd be paying through the nose. Thing is, near the top of the procedures that the company insurance is paying for is good ol' same-as-placebo acupuncture. That leaves me curious as to how much the influx of "complementary medicines" and whatnot into the realm of insurance-covered procedures is impacting the insurance premiums of those of us who favor evidence-based medicine. I don't have any philosophical problem with someone paying money to get needles stuck in his posterior or candles jammed into his ears, I just don't want to end up paying for it myself via my insurance premiums.

Weirdly, considering acupuncture's place of honor on the list of covered procedures, chiropractic and homeopathy "therapies" were nowhere to be found. I'd actually be curious to know exactly how the lists of approved treatments get concocted...

3 comments:

Jason said...

I got in a row with my HR department about this same thing! I was assured that offering access to CAM doesn't increase our premiums, but I don't see how it couldn't raise them on some level.

The presence of a homeopath at a company wellness fair did lead to a somewhat interesting experience though.

Skippy said...

Realistically I would have to assume that adding any new kind of treatment to coverage would have to raise the premiums to at least -some- extent.

As for your homeopathy experience, I have to wonder just how much actual ambergris you really got, or if the guy just mailed you an entire box of milk sugar with all the ambergris diluted out (And therefore infinitely more powerful...?).

Jason said...

Still, it's exciting to know that maybe, just *maybe*, I had a single molecule in my mouth that was once inside a sperm whale.