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Proposal Would Ease Insurance Reimbursements For Acupuncture

DENVER (CBS4)- A bill being proposed at the state Capitol would make it easier for acupuncturists to get reimbursed by insurance companies. An outdated law in Colorado allows insurers to deny claims, even when acupuncture is covered by the policy.

"It may take for someone like me, months and months to get paid," said licensed acupuncturist Debra Arko Novotny.

It's not that insurance companies don't cover acupuncture, many do. In Colorado, an antiquated law omits acupuncturists from a list of providers insurers refer to when deciding whether to reimburse.

Rep. Su Ryden believes a change is in order.

"This bill is about fixing technical issues we have in legislation, " said Ryden, D-Aurora.

The proposal would bring the list of licenses providers in Colorado up to date. Acupuncturists are not on the list because they weren't licensed at the time, which means they are less likely to be reimbursed than less-experienced providers.

What the bill won't do is require an insurer to cover acupuncture.

The bill passed committee on a party-line vote with one Republican crossing over. The measure will be heard before the full house next week.

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