Is yoga covered by my health insurance?
With yoga continuing to grow in popularity for a variety of health-related reasons, more and more health insurance policies are beginning to provide basic coverage to offset some of the costs associated with this form of alternative medicine.
Even if your policy does not specifically stipulate yoga as being covered, there may be some type of discount or credit granted towards membership or fitness center related costs. If you are in the process of looking for a new health insurance policy, this is one of the items to consider as you conduct a cost comparison.
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Consider the Physical Benefits of Yoga
As health insurance companies move towards providing coverage for more and more wellness related programs, yoga has increasingly entered into the conversation. The Mayo Clinic has recently reported that regular yoga practice can lead to a noticeable improvement in one’s overall level of physical fitness.
The various poses that are practice work to enhance the range of strength, motion, balance, and flexibility. This includes circulation and helps with a variety of internal functions as well. All of this combines to help increase the likelihood that individuals practicing yoga will pay fewer visits to the doctor. This, naturally, is what health insurance providers like to notice and this is a major reason that many policies now provide coverage for yoga to one degree or another.
Individuals suffering from any of a number of chronic health related conditions may also find that yoga provides their body with a much-needed boost to alleviate pain and a variety of other afflictions. There are many reports issues by the National Centers for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine that portray yoga as being helpful to ease the chronic pain that many people today feel in their lower back.
Consider the following ways that yoga has been shown to minimize pain and discomfort, thus reducing the number of doctor visits:
- Just six months of yoga has been shown to alleviate all types of pain
- It is believed that just 12 weeks of yoga can improve the overall functions of the body better than with traditional medicine
- Specific yoga poses help with a long list of physical and mental health conditions that insurance companies are increasingly willing to pay for as preventative medicine
Anything from sciatica to sinusitis and osteoporosis to menstrual cramps can benefit from yoga. Even women who are pregnant can benefit from the yoga poses as a way of alleviating much of the corresponding discomfort.
Yoga and Mental Health
Health insurance companies are increasingly offering some type of benefits for yoga. Regular yoga sessions are believe to be a powerful stress reducing agent, and the various poses help to alleviate anxiety in many people as well.
It is well known that chronic stress leads to many of the physical heath issues facing modern society today, so minimizing them as much as possible in certainly beneficial.
It is also believed that yoga can help with people suffering from bouts of minor depression. Many people will notice an improvement in their overall mood and affect after a yoga session.
Risks Associated With Yoga
In order for health insurance providers to offer coverage for any form of alternative medicine or therapy, a risk assessment is always conducted. In the case of yoga, there are very few risks associated with practice, provided that the individual works with a trained yoga instructor who teaches how to properly execute each pose. Even given this, however, there are instances where yoga can potentially cause a risk.
Individuals who have a risk of developing blood clots, suffer from a herniated disk, or have uncontrolled blood pressure will need to take certain precautions before deciding to practice yoga.
There also be risks incurred when practicing yoga when the individual has severe osteoporosis or problems with balance. Some individuals we certain eye problems such as glaucoma have also reported a few negative side effects associated with yoga.
Using Health Insurance Benefits to Pay For Yoga
Because of the now well documented health benefits to yoga, many providers may offer discounts to individuals that include yoga classes within the scope of their regular healthcare regime. This might come in the form of.a reimbursement once you demonstrate that you have paid for the classes.
It is also quite possible that some health insurance provers will offer reimbursements and discounts on a range of products and services that work to contribute in one way or another to an individual’s overall state of health. This can include books, DVDs, and other instructional resources that help teach an individual how to live a healthier lifestyle. This is now taken to include yoga. There are also discounts provided on by many providers on a certain number of vitamins and mineral supplements. Yoga mats may also be covered.
The aforementioned insurance benefits are now made possible because of the many physical benefits that yoga brings to the table. Contact your insurance provider to discover what benefits or reimbursements might be available to you. Keep in mind that these might be listed under benefits for alternative medicines and therapies.
Take advantage of what your health insurance company provides you, as you are the one paying for it. This will also help you become more healthy in the end and avoid those visits to the doctor’s office and hospital.
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