This medical video shows you how to get your alternative health care paid for.
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Jennifer Matthews: 11 years ago, Jim Zechman woke nearly death in one ear. After months of expensive tests, doctors had no answers. Three years later a friend suggested a specialized massage therapist. Jim Zechman: He worked on me for about an hour in that region and it was all of sudden like a burning sensation in my ear and then I could actually hear drainage in the area and pop! Jennifer Matthews: Incidentally, Jim could hear. A $70 visit to a massage therapist gave him what thousands of dollars and modern medicine could not. Jim Zechman: There is a much better way of going about treating patients, offering them solutions on a non-pharmaceuticals, non-surgical basis. Jennifer Matthews: Zechman started a group that encourage Illinois's largest insurance company to let people choose holistic doctors or chiropractors as primary care providers. His company plans to rule the program out across the country. Jim Zechman: We did this to prove up the theory that keeping people healthy is the least expensive way of providing care. Jennifer Matthews: Until the idea catches on, Zechman has tips to get your insurance company to cover these therapies now. First, read the fine print on your current policy. Many already cover some therapies. Also, talk to your employer. Jim Zechman: People don't realize this, but large employers are self-funded. The employer decides what benefits are offered and what benefits they are willing to pay for. It's not the insurer. Jennifer Matthews: Next, consider choosing a Chiropractor as your Primary Care Provider or PCP. You can also choose a naturopath if you live in one of the 14 states that licenses them. Many offer a range of therapies and getting them covered is easier if they are built through a PCP. Jim Zechman: Does it helps with digestion issues? Jennifer Matthews: Zechman's last tip, open a health savings account. In 2003, the IRA started to allow reimbursement for over-the-counter meds which could include supplements. By using these pre-taxed dollars, you can cut out of pocket costs by one-third. Jim Zechman: We need to provide true health and wellness care rather than just disease care in this country. It's time, the time is now, the future is now. Jennifer Matthews: This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.