AUGUSTA — On Tuesday, the Maine Senate unanimously voted in favor of a bill by Sen. Justin Chenette of Saco to extend insurance coverage requirements to include naturopathic care for appropriate services.
LD 1030, “An Act to Require Nondiscrimination Policies in Providing Health Care Services” as amended would prevent insurance companies from discriminating against care received from a naturopathic doctor practicing within the scope of their license.
“This marks a big win for Mainers who were unable to access the licensed health care provider of their choice,” said Sen. Chenette. “It closes loopholes in Maine law and puts Maine health care consumers first. I am pleased that my colleagues in the Senate could come together and support this bill in a bipartisan way.”
Currently, loopholes in Maine law allow for insurance companies to opt-out of covering health care providers offering alternative or naturopathic treatment, even if that treatment is licensed, certified or registered by the state of Maine. The amended bill requires insurance coverage for services provided by licensed naturopathic doctors as long as those services are within the scope of their license and would be reimbursed by other licensed doctors. New Hampshire and Vermont are among states that already require more choice in the insurance marketplace.
“Maine people with chronic health care issues already have enough to worry about. They shouldn’t have to worry about loopholes in the law that allows insurance companies to limit their treatment options,” said Sen. Chenette. “I am thrilled that we are one step closer to ensuring Mainers will be able to access the critical care they need.”
LD 1030 faces further action in the Senate and House.