Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Boulder Chamber of Commerce have partnered to create a health plan option for Boulder Chamber members that includes coverage for alternative as well as traditional care. The Chamber Plan’s Blue Freedom coverage offers all of the typical benefits we tend to associate with small group coverage, but most of the plans also cover things like accupuncture, chiropractic care, herbology, and massage therapy.
This is a big step forward for health insurance, and one that I hope we’ll see in other areas and from other carriers. Boulder is a great place to start something like this, as Boulder residents do tend to utilize alternative health care more than the average Colorado resident. But over the years, we’ve had inquiries from people all over the state who are looking for a health insurance policy that will allow them to utilize alternative care.
The Boulder Chamber plan is a good start. It’s currently available to Boulder Chamber of Commerce members who have between 1 and 50 employees. Eventually I’d like to see alternative care available as an option for people throughout Colorado, regardless of where they live or work. On a personal note, I’d also like to eventually see plans that offer maternity coverage include midwifery and homebirths in their benefits package.
It’s great to see Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield recognizing the importance of alternative medicine for some people. Obviously this would not be a benefit for everyone, but no one health insurance benefit will be utilized by everyone who has a particular policy (and the Boulder Chamber is offering several other Anthem plans with various designs, so the alternative care isn’t being forced on anyone who doesn’t want it). Choices and options are important, as everyone has different views on health and wellness. And with the advent of this new plan, a small business owner who is committed to alternative medicine and turned off by traditional health insurance policies might get on board with health insurance for her employees – and that’s a good thing.