The Act noted that integrative medicine, which includes acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage (not all therapies listed) decreases the overall cost of healthcare. Integrative medicine decreases complications from surgery, improves recovery rates, and improves quality of life. It is based on a wellness model and that the maintenence of wellness is paramount to life and prevention of chronic disease. The Act noted that chronic disease has been on the rise in the U.S. in the past few decades and that a wellness model for medicine is much needed. [For more about this discussion, I recommend the Escape Fire documentary (rated by Roger Ebert) and the Bravewell Collaborative.]
The conclusion of this recognition of integrative medicine as national way to reduce health care costs was to require integrative medicine therapies be available as an option to all Americans. This aspect of the federal act broke down when the states were allowed to pick and choose what they wanted to name as essential health benefits as their state version of the federal ACA. Most states picked only a few of the therapies. I do not think any state picked all possible integrative medicine therapies.
So, how the ACA/Obamacare works in your state and your access to integrative medicine as covered care varies greatly by state. The Act directly affects those Americans who are on "the Exchange", the new federal-state insurance coverage (now in its toddler years) versus a private insurer.
Acupuncture is an Essential Health Benefit in 6 states
Essential Health Benefits, Section 2707.
Acupuncture is an Essential Health Benefit (EHB) in 6 states:
The paraphrased reference from ACA:
The Non-Discrimination in Health Care 2706
Non-Discrimintation 2706—scope of practice (physical medicine and rehabilitation services, E&M, nutrition, etc)
Plenty of technical stuff above.
Generally, the world of insurance can be a maze to navigate. Paying out of pocket for services is an option and used to be the only option 50-100 years ago in our country.
coverage by insurance--Remember: insurance companies cover procedures and private insurers do this arbitrarily in the U.S. CMS (Medicare—a federal insurance) goes through a data collection process to determine code value and then goes through [some process] to determine whether or not it will cover a procedure, etc.
Acupuncture covered by Worker's Comp in many states
the VetChoice program