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Managing Cancer Care

Will My Insurance Cover Alternative Medicine?

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Some insurance companies may pay for some of the more well know alternative methods, such as homeopathy and naturopathy. If you are looking into alternative treatments, contact your insurance company to find out what your plan covers.

You may want to ask them:

  • Does my insurance plan provide any coverage for [the alternative method you are interested in trying]? If so, how much coverage is provided and for how long?
  • How much will I need to pay out of pocket for this treatment?
  • Do I need a prescription or referral for this alternative treatment?
  • Do I need to get this service preauthorized?
  • Do I need to see a practitioner who is in my network? If so, will any coverage be provided if I go out of network?

Insurance companies usually will not cover alternative methods that have not been shown to be helpful for the illness or symptom you have. To be covered by insurance, a treatment must be shown to be safe, effective, and necessary for a certain condition.

Also note that your chosen alternative provider may not accept insurance. You may be required to pay out of pocket and submit requests for reimbursement to your insurance provider yourself.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as editors and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Paying for Complementary and Integrative Health Approaches. Accessed at on August 20, 2021. 

Last Revised: August 30, 2021

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