New Hampshire Passes Naturopathic
"Insurance Equality" Bill

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

The New Hampshire state legislature has passed a law (shown below) intended to force insurance companies to pay for services within the scope of naturopathy "if the insurer would reimburse for that type of service when performed by any other type of provider." Chiropractors have gained passage of similar laws in more than 40 states. Insurance companies help protect our society against senseless practices by refusing to pay for methods that have not been proven safe and effective. Laws of this type make it much harder for companies to provide this "gatekeeper" function. Aberrant providers like them because it is much simpler to get laws passed than to develop scientific evidence to support what they do.

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twelve

AN ACT relative to insurance reimbursement for doctors of naturopathic medicine.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

278:1 New Section; Coverage for Naturopathy Providers; Individual. Amend RSA 415 by inserting after section 6-q the following new section:

415:6-r Naturopathy Providers; Payment for Equivalent Types of Service; Individual. Each insurer that issues or renews any individual policy, plan, or contract of accident or health insurance providing benefits for medical or hospital expenses shall provide to persons covered by such insurance who are residents of this state coverage for expenses arising from a health service performed by a doctor of naturopathic medicine licensed under RSA 328-E if that particular type of service is within the scope of practice of such doctor and if the insurer would reimburse for that type of service when performed by any other type of health care provider. Such coverage shall be subject to each insurer's standards and mechanisms for determining medical necessity, for credentialing pursuant to RSA 420-J:4, and for contracting pursuant to RSA 420-J:8. Benefits provided shall not be subject to any greater co-payment, deductible, or coinsurance than any other similar benefits provided by the insurer.

278:2 New Section; Coverage for Naturopathy Providers; Group. Amend RSA 415 by inserting after section 18-v the following new section:

415:18-w Naturopathy Providers; Payment for Equivalent Types of Services; Group. Each insurer that issues or renews any policy of group or blanket accident or health insurance providing benefits for medical or hospital expenses may provide to each group, or to the portion of each group comprised of certificate holders of such insurance who are residents of this state, coverage for expenses arising from a health service performed by a doctor of naturopathic medicine licensed under RSA 328-E if that particular type of service is within the scope of practice of such doctor and if the insurer would reimburse for that type of service when performed by any other type of health care provider. Such coverage, if provided, shall be subject to each insurer's standards and mechanisms for determining medical necessity, for credentialing pursuant to RSA 420-J:4, and for contracting pursuant to RSA 420-J:8. Any such benefits provided shall not be subject to any greater co-payment, deductible, or coinsurance than any other similar benefits provided by the insurer.

278:3 Health Service Corporations; Coverage for Health Care Services. Amend RSA 420-A:2 to read as follows:

420-A:2 Applicable Statutes. Every health service corporation shall be governed by this chapter and the relevant provisions of RSA 161-H, and shall be exempt from this title except for the provisions of RSA 400-A:39, RSA 401-B, RSA 402-C, RSA 404-F, RSA 415-A, RSA 415-F, RSA 415:6, II(4), RSA 415:6-g, RSA 415:6-k, RSA 415:6-m, RSA 415:6-o, RSA 415:6-r, RSA 415:18, V, RSA 415:18, VII(g), RSA 415:18, XVI and XVII, RSA 415:18, VII-a, RSA 415:18-a, RSA 415:18-j, RSA 415:18-o, RSA 415:18-r, RSA 415:18-t, RSA 415:18-u, RSA 415:18-v, RSA 415:18-w, RSA 415:22, RSA 417, RSA 417-E, RSA 420-J, and all applicable provisions of title XXXVII wherein such corporations are specifically included. Every health service corporation and its agents shall be subject to the fees prescribed for health service corporations under RSA 400-A:29, VII.

278:4 Health Maintenance Corporations; Coverage for Health Care Services. Amend RSA 420-B:20, III to read as follows:

III. The requirements of RSA 400-A:39, RSA 401-B, RSA 402-C, RSA 404-F, RSA 415:6-g, RSA 415:6-m, RSA 415:6-o, RSA 415:6-r, RSA 415:18, VII(g), RSA 415:18, VII-a, RSA 415:18, XVI and XVII, RSA 415:18-j, RSA 415:18-r, RSA 415:18-t, RSA 415:18-u, RSA 415:18-v, RSA 415:18-w, RSA 415-A, RSA 415-F, RSA 420-G, and RSA 420-J shall apply to health maintenance organizations.

278:5 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2013.

Approved: June 20, 2012

Effective Date: January 1, 2013

This page was posted on November 15, 2012.

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