I often get asked by other medical professionals what types of patients I see. I initially say that I see, both, the avid health advocate seeking preventive care and the desperate & chronically ill patient. I unfortunately always confess seeing more of the latter rather than those truly looking to prevent disease. So ask you – why don’t you invest in your health?
The reasons vary but time and time again I am told that naturopathic doctor’s visits are an out of pocket expense that insurance doesn't cover. No insurance coverage is specific to Michigan and other unlicensed states in the United States. Connecticut, for example, is a licensed state and insurance companies within Connecticut do offer partial naturopathic medical coverage.
Usually when someone invests something valuable like time or their money they expect to reap benefits of that investment. And I am here to tell you that investing in your health by collaborating with a naturopathic doctor is a SMALL not large investment that continues to pay you dividends throughout your life. Unlike other investments where you may see a return on your money only once or twice, investing in naturopathic medicine will help you not only for your current health concerns but prevent future health concerns.
I love visual aids. It really helps me understand and grasp concepts better. So I decided to create a graph comparing conventional healthcare costs with naturopathic medicine costs.
The conventional healthcare cost data was drawn from the references listed below & naturopathic medicine costs are based on my private practice. Therefore this comparison is likely to vary from one practice to another as well as from one state to another. However, the information displayed does give you a rough idea of what the numbers actually look like.
The graph above compares yearly healthcare costs which include out-of-pocket and premium expenses. Employers that offer healthcare coverage pay a premium per employee yearly. The premium rate varies based on the individual insurance plans but the rate averages at $4,300 per person. That premium does not include the co-pays which are an out-of-pocket expense. On average an individual spends $1,313 for out of pocket co-pays, filling prescriptions and/or deductibles. Some insurance coverage only kicks in after an individual has spent an X amount of money on healthcare that year.
On the other hand, naturopathic services are not dependent on insurance premiums. Therefore, the out-of-pocket cost is the only cost. The average naturopathic patient spends $1,360 which includes an initial consult, 6 follow-ups, and $300 allotted to spending on naturopathic recommendations & specialty testing. This estimate is by no means rigid and is in fact variable dependent on the individual’s health concerns. Therefore, please recognize these are rough estimates based on trends in my private practice.
Now, you may look at this comparison and comment that the out-of-pocket expense for naturopathic medicine is actually a little more than conventional care. And, I would tell you that, that is an astute observation!
BUT, when you take a look at out-of-pocket Naturopathic costs on an ongoing yearly basis once you’ve begun care under a Naturopathic Doctor, yearly costs actually trend on a downward decline. This is where your initial investment begins show return! While in contrast, conventional costs rise every year as you age because of the increased need to make specialist appointments and need for more prescription medications.
I’ve found that those who seize their health today before waiting for their health to rapidly decline tend to benefit most from the services Naturopathic Doctors offer. However, the trend seems to be, at least in my practice, that people come to see me as a last resort. Naturopathic Medicine does have a lot to offer even in those cases but often I wonder - if they had seen a Naturopathic Doctor when the concern became apparent, where their health might of been today.
So I ask you again, why don't you invest in your health?
I hope this blog post was informative! I welcome your thoughts so please comment below!