Insurer Offers FL Companies Alternative Health Programs

February 18, 2004 ( - The American Specialty Health Insurance Company (ASH) has begun peddling complementary health benefit plans and specialty offerings directly to Florida employees.

Florida businesses with 51 or more employees will now be able to purchase complementary health benefits as a supplemental group benefit rider, similar to purchasing vision, dental or behavioral health coverage.   This would open the door up to Florida employees to offer such options as acupuncture, massage therapy, dietetic counseling and chiropractic care, according to a news release.

E mployees in the Sunshine State that elect to subscribe to the benefit can access a Florida network of more than 1,500 contracted providers. Furthermore, when participants are traveling, they have access to a national provider network of more than 22,000 contracted acupuncturists, chiropractors, dietitians, massage therapists, medical doctors, and osteopathic physicians.

The new offerings come as consumers, particularly chronically ill patients seek alternative remedies for their conditions without breaking the bank, according to Jacksonville-based chiropractic orthopedist Patrick Opachich , DC, a participating provider in ASH Insurance Company’s provider network.  

“Typically these chronically ill patients – who may have persistent neck or back pain, arthritis, migraines, or weight problems – seek alternative care because traditional medicine hasn’t resolved their health problems,” Opachich said in a release.   “Most of these patients then have had to pay the entire amount of this alternative care out-of-pocket because their health plans haven’t covered the spectrum of care options they need. So, the cost to these chronically ill patients can be tremendous over the course of many years.”