DO YOU HELP TREAT TERMINAL OR CHRONIC ILLNESS?
Yes. In fact, Naturopathic Medicine and Acupuncture are both great ways to modulate side effects of conventional pharmacotherapy, and ease discomfort and pain caused by the disease.
One caveat for serious chronic and terminal diseases is that as Naturopathic doctors, we are not equipped to handle serious conditions safely in a completely natural way. As such, we recommend that you continue to work with your medical providers, but add us to your health care team as an adjunct.
DO YOU TAKE INSURANCE?
No. Currently, in Minnesota, insurance companies are not required to contract with naturopathic doctors and so most of them choose not to. As a result, naturopathic doctors are considered out-of-network providers. However, you can certainly request a superbill after your visit and submit it to your insurance company for reimbursement. See our guide to submitting superbills.
Please note, that if you are a member, you will not be able to submit a superbill for insurance coverage, as insurance does not cover direct care fee structures. However, you can ask your Health Savings Account (HSA)/Flex Spending Account (FSA) provider if membership or visit fees can be covered. Some insurance companies offer HSA compatible insurance plans that lower your monthly dues. Call your insurance company to ask about details.
DO I STILL NEED INSURANCE IF I HAVE A MEMBERSHIP?
Here at Yggdrasil Naturopathic Medicine, we are Naturopathic Doctors and Acupuncturists who are considered mid-level providers. This means we can take care of your daily health needs such as annual visits, addressing colds, joint pains, sports injuries, fine-tuning care for chronic stable diseases, or taking care of the occasional scrape, splinter, wart, or ingrown nail. We do not have the resources or training to provide high-level interventions if you are suffering from a heart attack, have severe breathlessness, or need urgent or hospital care in any other way.
In the state of Minnesota, the scope of practice for Naturopathic doctors also does not include prescription rights, so even though we are trained in the management of pharmaceuticals, we cannot legally prescribe any long term medications that you may be taking. As such, one option we recommend is that you retain a basic health plan that meets your prescription needs and makes sure that you are covered for emergency services. Some insurance companies offer Health Savings Account compatible insurance plans that lower your monthly premiums. Call your insurance company for details.
Alternatively, you could joint a medical cost-sharing platform, such as Zion Health or Sedera Health. These platforms are not health insurance, but healthshares where you share funds with a community to cover each other's medical expenses based on need. Because there is often an emphasis on staying healthy, both Sedera Health and Zion Health offer a discount if you join a Direct Care practice such as Yggdrasil Naturopathic Medicine.
AM I WASTING MY MONEY IF I DON'T MAKE AN APPOINTMENT EVERY MONTH?
Not at all! In fact, the direct care system is meant to work the way insurance was originally meant to: everyone pays a little bit into the pool each month so that A) you are supporting your doctors and motivating them to keep you as healthy as possible (instead of only making money when you get sick), and B) you help everyone else in the membership pool (just like they are helping you) so that everyone can afford to have quality healthcare when they need it. The paradigm shift here is that, even if you don't need to make an appointment frequently, you are still "paying it forward" to the people who are sick right now and need to see the doctor more often.
The difference between direct care and insurance companies is the lack of a middleman. Instead of your insurance company deciding what is "medically necessary" for you, the handling of your care and health is instead a shared decision that is made through you and your doctor - with no ifs, ands, or buts!