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Group Health Insurance – Woo vs Common Cents

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6 comments to Group Health Insurance – Woo vs Common Cents

  • Have you considered that insurance companies know woo woo doesn’t work but fund it anyway because it is cheaper than conventional medicine? People feel better when a quack says “There there dear – what did those beastly REAL Doctors do to you…?”

    They may be on to something. Or perhaps I’m developing a conspiracy theory about it.

    Meh – can’t decide. Good post.

  • And that’s where the fact that I’m talking about Canada comes into play. What you’re suggesting is quite posible in the US, but since insurance companies don’t pay for conventional science-based basic medical treatments here (that’s usually paid by our province), I don’t think that would apply.

    In fact there are clauses in insurance contracts here that state that any service by an MD is NOT covered. That’s because any “medically necessary” service will be covered by the province.

  • johnno

    I work for an American insurance company. I write benefits for over 100 companies large and small. I see a lot of woo in the large companies,most of which fund there own plans then we administrate. It seems to come down to offering variety and the assumption that this is a benefit is something of value to the employees. It is my opinion that the people who think this crap is efficacious are extremely vocal with their HR representatives while we skeptics tend to not scream about science based medicine. My company standardly does not cover holistic, vitamins, acupuncture etc but if companies want it they can pay for it. For the insurance company if covering this stuff can close a sale then they sell it.

  • Mike I too am Canadian (Kelowna). I agree with Johnno – more likely to be a sales tool more than endorsement of woo. Still frustrating though isn’t it?

    Carry on!! Pip pip and all that…

  • Yep, like I wrote, neither the client company nor the insurance company actually endorse this crap. It’s all about the dollars.

  • radiantmatrix

    You may be the perfect person to ask this of. I’ve long held that chiropractic is 99% crap — I’ve heard that there can be some benefit for certain types of back/spine problems, but the vast majority of chiropractic claims appear to be nothing more than marketing (and bad marketing at that).

    Unfortunately, there’s so much misinformation out there, it’s hard to sift — is there a good and well-referenced starting point for data on chiropractic effectiveness?

    I have a similar query on acupuncture. There is no literature I’ve been able to find that explains the physical mechanism by which acupuncture is purported to work, etc. However, when I was younger my parents convinced me to try acupuncture for acute neck pain I had at the time — and it seemed to be effective.

    Not having a well-developed skeptical method at the time, I didn’t pursue it or, really, give it much thought at all. In retrospect, though, I’m wondering if there is some explanation.

    Do you know where I could find some information on whether acupuncture has *any* validity, and if not, what mechanisms explain the relief some (including me) appear to experience? The only thing I could think of was psycho-somatic effects, but I know so little about this field that it’s a stab in the dark.

    Thank you.

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