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Question DetailsAsked on 1/26/2012

I'm looking for a health insurance provider who might give assistance for seeing a Naturopathic MD in Pima County, AZ. Any ideas, please?!

I've consulted with agents of BC/BS of AZ, United Health and Cigna so far. Not to mention, of course asking the NMD physician's staff. They went through the process of enrolling with Cigna, jumping through all the hoops, only to be told at the last minute...Oh gosh, we don't have any applicable policies available in Pima County, AZ.

I finally got the suggestion to contact the AZ Department of Insurance, so I sent them an email just today. The recorded message indicated staff cutbacks, restricted hours & long hold times due to state finances...Of Course! Hopefully I'll get a response, but perhaps you fellow searchers have an idea or solution I've never thought about.

These doctors go through the identical training as a traditional MD, with the Naturopathic element in addition. I don't understand why the insurance providers are so resistant to therapies which might potentially be much lest costly?

Many Thanks for Your Input!

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Voted Best Answer

If the naturopath also has the MD credential then every planwill cover them. They choose to take insurance or not, all providers have tosign up with insurance plans for reimbursement. Unfortunately if they are aDoctor of Naturopathy, without other medical credentials you will have adifficult time finding coverage. An MD typically goes through 4 years ofundergrad, 4 years of Medical school, 3 years of residency and then potentially2 - 4 years of specialty training on top of that. Not many Naturopaths gothrough that type of education. MDs also have to work on cadavers, some otherhealth care practitioners do this as well, but not many. Naturopaths offervaluable services. If you have a Naturopath MD in mind, then it is simplebecause they will have registered with insurance companies to accept payments.They will know what plans they accept payment from. As a pharmacist one of myclassmates in addition to a doctorate in pharmacy also had a doctorate in thatarea. As a pharmacist we are also not covered by most insurance plans to have a"practice" reimbursement. We work on a fee-for-service basis orcontract with specific plans or employers to offer their people our services.We work with individuals and provide their providers the information about ourconsults.

Some naturopaths, dieticians, pharmacists, chiropractors,and acupuncturists work within a physician practice - this is sometimesreferred to as an integrated or integrative model. The fee for a naturopath ismost often "fee for service." I hope this helps, best of luckfinding the practitioner you are seeking.


Answered 8 years ago by PMcCauley

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