Alternative Medicine

Updated: 29 February 2024

What Does Alternative Medicine Mean?

Alternative medicine refers to health care and treatment that are not endorsed or practiced by conventional health facilities and professionals, and can be viewed as an alternative to Western medical science and technology.

Insuranceopedia Explains Alternative Medicine

There are practitioners of mainstream, standard medicine that don’t think of alternative medicine in a positive manner, even viewing it as a hoax. Homeopathy, an example of alternative medicine and one that is being practiced by some licensed physicians, is vilified by some quarters in the mainstream. Criticism aside, there are numbers of people in the world that turn to alternative medicine either as a last resort for a terminal disease or as part of their cultural heritage.

Support for alternative medicine from insurance companies isn’t very strong. Although the Affordable Care Act does not allow discrimination of any licensed treatment, the insurance industry has historically acted from the recommendation of mainstream health professionals, who are less likely to endorse alternative medicine.

Some forms of alternative medicine may be covered as a support therapy for a major procedure, like getting acupuncture prior to surgery.

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