The California Acupuncture Bill (AB54) passed in the California State Assembly. According to the California State Assembly analysis of the bill, AB54 "requires every health plan contract and health insurance policy sold on a group basis that provides coverage for hospital, medical, or surgical expenses to provide coverage for expenses incurred as a result of treatment by acupuncturists." Democratic Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally of Los Angeles authored the bill and it passed 46 to 27. This California acupuncture program also has strong support from San Francisco Assemblywoman Fiona Ma. AB54 must make its way through the Senate before the summer recess for this acupuncture insurance coverage bill to have a chance to become law.
Laws and regulations regarding acupuncture insurance coverage have changed significantly over time, to learn more, visit an important HealthCMi article on acupuncture insurance coverage located in the blog section:
Part of the trend in medicine is towards patient outcomes. As research intensifies for acupuncture and herbal medicine demonstrating cost-effectiveness, legislation trails behind with uptake of acupuncture and herbs into insurance systems. Next, inclusion of acupuncture into the Medicare and Medicaid systems and in federal employee insurance coverage will require a reevaluation of NCDs by the HHS. At that point, acceptance of an NCD will force inclusion of acupuncture into the system even if Congress does not act. This is the executive method for establishing healthcare protocols. National Coverage Determinations (NCDs) are based on research for safety and efficacy of specific treatments.