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Alternative Health Care and Your Insurance Company: 6 Tips to Stay Healthy

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"If that product or service was any good, my health insurance would cover it."

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It's a healthy living myth that those of us “defaulted” to explore new frontiers have heard way too often. It’s also a way of thinking that keeps motivated, deserving people from following a course of action that could really turn things in their favor.

Should you allow your insurance company to make important health care choices for you? In this article, we’ll explore 6 tips to help you stay on the side of health, whether or not your insurance company agrees.

  1. Do your due diligence. Check the soundness of new health products and ideas before you try them. Part of that due diligence is consulting with your doctor. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your doctor isn’t interested in the alternative health options you’ve explored. If your doctor is not receptive to discussing your health with you, perhaps you’d be better served by consulting another physician.
  2. Remember who’s watching out for you. You and your health insurance company have different agendas. The insurance company is in business to make a profit. They also play politics. These motives may weigh stronger than the potential benefit of a cutting-edge treatment plan. Your main agenda, on the other hand, is your personal health.
  3. Watch out for great explanations that make a lot of sense. It can be surprisingly difficult to discern a logical explanation from something that has a genuine likelihood for success. A persuasive speaker can easily make two opposing views both sound promising. Think! Of course if the regimen doesn’t make sense, that’s a clear “red flag.”
  4. Don’t place all your faith in your friends’ success or failure. Sure, you want to know how Jane lost 10 pounds overnight or why Jim’s back stopped hurting after all those years. Yet you are not those people. Your situation is always going to be different, and those seemingly small distinctions may make a huge difference in how quickly or how well the treatment works.
  5. Re-consider what you can afford to pay. Occasionally, people decline to pay out of pocket for health care not because they can’t afford it, but because of an expectation that they shouldn’t have to. Health insurance, like the insurance you carry on your car or home, is designed for those times when your best efforts at prevention and maintenance fail. Keywords: “Best Efforts.”
  6. Once you’ve considered the risks, act decisively! Be sure to also consider the risks of not acting. Conservative treatment options, like those often found in the alternative health arena, may be markedly more effective early on in the process. If your health concern were a smoldering fire, what would you do? Grab a bucket of water and dispense with it – or wait around for the flames?

Most sound-minded adults are in the uniquely challenging position of being the single best resource for making their own routine health care choices. We gather information from a variety of sources, expert and otherwise. Then, ultimately, we choose as best we can. The insurance company isn’t always going to offer to pay for what we see as being in our best interests. And that’s ok. They’ll still be there when we really need them.


Elizabeth Eckert can help you explore how simple everyday choices create health - or undermine even the best of intentions. With a background that ranges from energy medicine to structural bodywork to developmental psychology, this "Stick-To-It Coach" has the experience to support you in creating the healthiest possible expression of — you!

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