Earlier in March, the GOP honored its word by releasing its plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, also referred to as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A statement from the party said, “We’re delivering on our promises to repeal and replace Obamacare with President Trump’s proposed healthcare reforms.”
The healthcare industry has been up in the air as far as what healthcare will look like under President Trump’s administration. It leaves questions such as: Will the American Health Care Act (AHCA) allow people currently covered under ACA to maintain their coverage? How much will this cost?
Obamacare isn’t going anywhere yet
But then, near the end of March, AHCA was pulled off the table when Republicans couldn’t get the votes they needed. Barely a week later, some party officials were quoted saying that the Obamacare repeal was back on the agenda. And by the time this article publishes, the news could reveal something different.
Clearly, there’s a lot of back and forth and amid the uncertainty, and it may be wise to start considering out-of-pocket and alternative healthcare options.
The number of Americans using alternative medicine has been recording steady growth. In 2007, National Health Statistics Report conducted a survey where 4 in 10 respondents sought a form of non-traditional medical treatment. According to the report, the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) industry generated approximately $40 billion in revenue that year. The majority of out-of-pocket treatment expenses were spent on natural products, fitness classes such as yoga and tai chi, and homeopathic medicine.
Is it time more Americans considered alternative healthcare options, which are not only effective but very affordable? Let’s look at a few potential options:
1. Mindful Meditation
I recently watched a great documentary on the effect of meditation on the human brain. The film, Free The Mind, follows neuroscientist Richard J. Davidson’s groundbreaking research on the benefits of long-term meditation.
By the end of the film, meditation is shown to heal two military veterans suffering from PTSD and help a preschooler better handle rage issues.
Mindful meditation is the practice of training oneself to be more aware of the present. Originally a Buddhist meditation technique, it has rapidly evolved into a popular, highly applicable, and secular practice.
Acupuncture is one of the most commonly adopted practices of traditional Chinese medicine in the West. Acupuncturists stimulate specific points on a patient’s body, usually through the insertion of thin needles into the skin.
Research has suggested that acupuncture could help ease some types of potentially chronic pain such as neck pain, low-back pain and knee pain (osteoarthritis). It can also help make tension headaches more infrequent as well as prevent migraine headaches.
For people with chronic pain, acupuncture could be a viable solution.
However, it must be performed by a licensed practitioner. When not properly delivered, acupuncture could lead to adverse side effects such as infections, collapsed lungs and punctured organs.
3. Hypnosis Therapy/Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is a form of therapy where the patient is guided into a heightened state of consciousness (trance) through relaxation, focused attention, and intense concentration.
In this state, the patient’s attention is so focused that everything around them becomes temporarily blocked out. With the help of a therapist, the person may focus on specific thoughts.
Hypnotherapy has been shown to help people handle phobias, fears, and anxiety more efficiently, sleep better, get over depression and reduce stress. It can also be used to reduce pain and help people quit smoking and overeating.
4. Homeopathic Medicine/Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a school of medicine that applies a holistic and natural approach to treatment. Rather than focusing on an affected area, homeopathy focuses on healing the person as a whole and uses natural remedies.
The guiding principle for homeopathy is, “let likes cure likes.” Homeopathic doctors believe that if a substance causes sickness, giving a patient moderated doses could, in fact, build up resistance and eventually cure that sickness.
Homeopathy is used to treat both acute and chronic diseases.
There is affordable health care out there
Despite the alternative health industry generating billions of dollars each year, most services aren’t covered by health insurers because insurance companies still regard alternative health care with skepticism.
The costs could be reduced significantly if policyholders understood insurance policies and options better. For instance, you can obtain alternative medicine coverage through a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA). If you’re interested in exploring alternative healthcare options, these might be the best savings vehicles to start saving up.