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Does Aetna Cover Acupuncture Treatments?

Acupuncture can help with a variety of different medical conditions – and people all over the world are turning to this form of therapy. So, the question is, can you use Aetna insurance to help cover the costs of a therapeutic session. Let’s discuss. 

What is Acupuncture? 

Acupuncture is a holistic therapy, used to treat various medical conditions, as well as pain, stress, panic attacks, digestive issues and anxiety. It works by increasing blood circulation and decreasing inflammation, which are the root causes of many of the diseases and ailments that throw us off-balance, causing pain and anxiety. 

Does Aetna Health Insurance Cover Acupuncture?

Yes! It does. Aetna covers acupuncture as a standard benefit within its new and existing health plans. Aetna’s plan to cover acupuncture is very recent. It was rolled out in 2022. Aetna unleashed the plan to provide members with additional options for relieving chronic pain. Patients looking to qualify for treatment coverage are required to meet certain criteria. The treatments must be medically necessary in order to qualify and the provider must be practicing acupuncture within the scope of their existing medical license. 

Qualifying Conditions 

  • Chronic pain of the back or neck. The pain must be current and ongoing, lasting for at least 12-weeks continuously.
  • Pain related to osteoarthritis of the knee or hip 
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Pregnancy-related nausea 
  • Chemotherapy-related nausea 
  •  TMD Disorders (Temporomandibular) – joint pain in the jaw

In addition to the qualifying conditions listed above, certain Aetna plans offer limited coverage for the following: 

  • Medically necessary indications, as administered by a qualified licensed professional.

Conditions NOT Covered

In addition to the conditions that are covered, there are certain conditions that Aetna won’t cover. Treating these diseases and disorders with acupuncture is considered by Aetna to be “experimental.” 

Is Dry Needling Covered? 

Dry needling is not covered by Aetna because it is considered an “experimental and investigative” procedure. 

What Happens During an Acupuncture Treatment? 

Small needles are placed into specific points of the body during an acupuncture session. This is done to stimulate and balance blood flow, and decrease inflammation. Treatment happens in a laying-down position. The patient lies face up or face down on an ergonomically designed table for a period of about 30 minutes to an hour. Your practitioner may use needles, but there are a variety of other instruments they may use, including: 

  • Heat
  • Guasha 
  • Electromagnetic energy impulses
  • Cupping/Suction 
  • Friction

What Conditions Can Be Treated with Acupuncture?

Certain conditions, diseases, and illnesses can be treated with regular acupuncture sessions. Though many of these may not be covered by Aetna, it’s still important to state what can be treated. 

  • Pain of the lower back and back
  • Knee pain 
  • Bursitis
  • Pain caused by surgery, including dental surgery 
  • Tension headaches
  • Anxiety disorders 
  • Nausea 
  • Nausea caused by cancer treatment 
  • Insomnia 
  • Arthritis pain 
  • Menopause-related hot flashes 
  • Menstrual cramps 

How can you find a qualified Acupuncturist in Raleigh, North Carolina? 

If you’re searching for a qualified Acupuncturist in Raleigh, North Carolina, you’ll want to find someone with experience, qualifications, and compassion. Look no further than Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center. Our goal since 2010 has been to provide quality and compassionate acupuncture in Raleigh, NC and the surrounding areas. Much like the balance that Acupuncture provides for your body, we provide our patients with balanced care: the highest quality healthcare, while at the same time focusing on compassionate services that treat you, the patient with holistic, individualized treatment. 

Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center for all of your Acupuncture needs 

Hi, I’m Jim Eleczko, the founder of Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center and it’s my mission to provide you with compassionate, whole-person care using holistic treatments, including Acupuncture. I’m a board-certified and licensed Acupuncturist practicing since 2010 in Raleigh, North Carolina. I love that I get to wake up every day to make meaningful changes in my patient’s lives. I’ve seen first hand the changes that Acupuncture can make. As a teen I suffered from allergies and my father suggested that I try Acupuncture to calm the symptoms. It worked – and left a lasting impression on me! Now I offer Acupuncture and other treatments to help people with a variety of issues, including anxiety, migraines, fibromyalgia, and more. Our other treatments include Dry Needling, Tuina Massage, Guasha, Cupping, Stretching, Orthopedic Movements, Electroacupuncture and Therapeutic Exercises. 

Here’s a bit more about me and my qualifications: I studied the 4-year program at Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine and continue to travel multiple times a year to study with my mentor, Andrew Nugent-Head. I also studied under Dr. Ed Garbacz, M.D. LAc and spent a year working and studying under Dr. Bonnie Walker, M.D. LAc. I have also done extensive post-graduate studies in acupuncture, nutrition, herbal medicine from lectures of acupuncturists like Dr. Nguyen Van Nghi, Dr. Tran Viet Dzung, Matt Callison, and Edward Obaidey

Get in touch with me by calling (919) 260-4104. I’d be happy to answer your questions and get you booked for an appointment today!