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New acupuncture benefit and network 

October 3, 2018    

Effective January 1, 2019, Independence will offer an acupuncture benefit to all commercial members. To accommodate this benefit and better serve our members, we will be expanding our network to include acupuncture providers.

Benefit details

Acupuncture will be considered medically necessary under certain conditions, limited to:

  • Headache (migraine and tension)
  • Post-operative and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
  • Nausea of pregnancy
  • Low back pain
  • Pain from osteoarthritis of the knee and hip
  • Chronic neck pain

The use of acupuncture for other conditions will be considered experimental/investigational and will not be covered.

Providers should use the Eligibility and Benefits Inquiry transaction on the NaviNet web portal to confirm individual member benefits.

Acupuncture network

If you are licensed to practice acupuncture in your state and would like to provide acupuncture for the conditions outlined above, you may submit a request to join the Independence Blue Cross network. For information on our network credentialing process and credentialing criteria, please visit our website. You can apply by completing the online Provider Participation Form.

Note: The licensing rules for acupuncturists differ by state. Providers should refer to their state’s licensing board for guidelines.

If you meet the criteria to join our network, your information will be displayed in our Find a Doctor tool. We ask that you submit your application early to allow Independence time to review and process your credentialing request.

If you have questions about the network or credentialing process, please email us at specialistsrequests@ibx.com.

Updated policy

Medical Policy #12.00.01f: Acupuncture was expanded to capture information related to this new benefit. It was posted as a Notification on October 2, 2018, and will go into effect January 1, 2019.

To view the Notification for this policy, visit our Medical Policy Portal and select Accept and Go to Medical Policy Online. Then select Commercial under Active Notifications.

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