December 20, 2013 — Doctors of chiropractic will be listed equally with other types of physicians and will no longer have any limitations attached to their definition of physician under the 2014 Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) Service Benefit Plan, as authorized by the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) law.
BCBS Federal Employee Program (FEP) has announced that effective Jan. 1, 2014 it will “now cover any licensed medical practitioner for covered services performed within the scope of that license, as required by Section 2706(a) of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA).” And, It further announced that due to compliance with Section 2706(a): “Benefits for chiropractic care are no longer limited to one office visit and one set of X-rays per year.” Coverage for those services will be based upon “the benefits we provide for office visits and … for our coverage of radiological services performed by covered professional providers.”
ACA has been engaging FEP for over the last three years on limiting DC office visits and X-rays, and local Plans limiting therapeutic modalities to one per visit-contrary to plan benefits. This recent change is a giant step forward in our efforts to rectify coverage concerns for federal workers.
Section 2706(a) “Non-discrimination in Health Care” was passed under the Public Health Service Act, part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, and was spearheaded by the ACA. This follows a long history of ACA legal, insurance and legislative action which included a first time chiropractic benefit into the Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employees Plan, the expansion of coverage to include physical therapy services as well as preserving the physician status for doctors of chiropractic under the program.
For a list of 2014 federal benefit brochures by state, click here.