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Health Insurance Coverage for Natural Therapies

Alternative Medicine Integrated with "Consumer Driven" Health Plans

Los Angeles (West Hills), CA - January 18, 2003 - Employees across the country represented by the International Union for the Natural Health, Complementary & Alternative Medicine Professions (the Natural Health Union) now have access to health insurance that covers natural and alternative medicine.

Employers who contract with the Union can provide their employees with health benefits that extend traditional major medical insurance coverage to include such natural therapies as chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, herbal remedies, and more.

CONSUMER DRIVEN HEALTH PLANS offer a new and innovative solution to the current health care crisis.

Natural Health Union's Consumer Driven Health Plans allow participants to see any doctor, anytime, anywhere, without such managed care (HMO/PPO) restrictions as referrals or pre-certification. "Our members can now control their personal health care decisions without interference from managed care restrictions," says Steve Gorman, Union President.

"Consumer Driven Health Plans empower our members to make better health care choices," continues Gorman. "Including natural and alternative medicine in these major medical plans enables us to get our members the most progressive health care program in America."

These programs are part of the Natural Health Union's continuing efforts to improve the working and living conditions of American families.


About the Natural Health Union

The International Union for the Natural Health, Complementary & Alternative Medicine Professions (Natural Health Union) was founded in May 2000 and is affiliated with ITPEU-OPEIU, AFL-CIO (Industrial, Technical & Professional Employees Union and Office & Professional Employees International Union).

The Natural Health Union's mission includes improving the working conditions and the health of Americans by providing greater access to comprehensive health care benefits which include natural therapies and preventive care.

Membership in the Union is open to employees working in all industries. Participation in the group health insurance program is restricted to employees (and their dependents) of businesses that enter into a collective bargaining contract with the Natural Health Union.

The Natural Health Union's "Consumer Driven Health Plans" work like this:

The plan funds a savings account for each participating employee (and their dependents) to pay for routine doctor visits, preventive care, and other common medical expenses. Once the funds in that account have been exhausted, the employee would then meet an annual deductible of $500, $1,000, or $2,500, depending upon the plan selected. After the deductible is met, the plan would then reimburse for covered expenses at 90%, 80%, or 70% of the Maximum Allowable Charge based upon which plan was selected. Alternative and natural therapies are covered with no deductible to meet.

Members may use any doctor or properly licensed practitioner of their choice. There is also no deductible to meet for the prescription drug program.

The health insurance benefits available to Natural Health Union members are fully insured by American Travelers Assurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of HealthMarket, Inc.

Nationally, about 44% of large employers are considering consumer driven health plans as an option to their traditional managed care plans, according to a recent survey conducted by Towers Perrin, a St. Louis-based management consulting firm. A report from Cambridge, MA-based Forrester Research, Inc. states that the number of large employers that offer a consumer driven health plan will quadruple in 2003.

For more information, contact:

International Union for the Natural Health,
Complementary & Alternative Medicine Professions
affiliated with ITPEU-OPEIU, AFL-CIO
Post Office Box 5167
West Hills, CA 91308
800 331-2713 - FAX 818 226-9820

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