CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Guardian Life Insurance announces CAM program

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America has announced discounts on complementary and alternative medicine treatments including yoga and homeopathy.

Notable:

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), a leading provider of employee and voluntary benefits to small and mid-sized companies, today announced that its group medical plan members now have greater access to discounts on alternative medical treatments in 38 disciplines including yoga, Pilates, personal training, massage/bodywork, nutritional counseling, acupuncture, chiropractic care, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, qi gong, tai chi and holistic medicine.

With all the educational resources below aimed at prevention, perhaps the insurance industry is finally seeing the point that CAM can be useful in preventative care and thus help lower overall insurance reimbursemsent costs.

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Guardian's Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) discount program provides up to 30 percent off the cost of services and treatment at over 36,000 providers. This program is an expansion of Guardian's alternative medical benefits. Many Guardian medical plans already offered coverage for alternative medicine procedures, but clients now have more discipline choices, locations and providers.

"Alternative medicine, once considered fringe is now firmly part of the mainstream," said Tim Bireley, vice president, Group Medical, Guardian. "We live in a global, increasingly diverse society where people are exposed to different methods of managing their health and wellness. Clients value the opportunity to complement and enhance their traditional medical treatments with alternative procedures."

The Complementary Alternative Medicine program was developed in conjunction with Whole Health Networks. Guardian medical plan members are able to access information about the practitioner network through the Guardian Anytime website: (http://www.guardiananytime.com/).

Through a link, they are connected to WholeHealth's award-winning website with extensive information about:

* Healing Centers: Provides step-by-step health paths offering
comprehensive care and treatments developed by WholeHealth
practitioners.

* Healthy Kitchens: Offers knowledge about how food can heal as well as taste great. Healthy Kitchen chefs share recipe makeovers and introduce consumers to a world of healthier cooking.

* News and perspectives: Keeps members up to date on the latest research in complementary alternative medicine.

* Reference library: Contains a comprehensive database of integrative therapies, supplements, foods, and drugs, including a drug/herb "checker" highlighting interactions between nutritional supplements and pharmaceuticals.

* Expert Opinions: Provides helpful opinions in response to frequently asked member questions.

Members can also locate a practitioner by calling WholeHealth Networks at 1-800-274-7526.

"The Complementary Alternative Medicine program coincides with several trends that make this launch very timely," said Susan O'Connor, assistant vice president, Group Medical, Guardian. "We are a more sedentary society and obesity rates are on the rise. There is a lot of stress on the so-called sandwich generation as they manage the affairs of their children and parents while they prepare for their own retirement. And last, but not least, longevity and an aging workforce continue to put pricing pressures on our healthcare system. Taking a more holistic approach can help fight obesity, reduce stress and expose people to new ways of promoting good health and wellness -- and ultimately help reduce healthcare costs."

Added Bireley, "As Guardian marks the 50th anniversary of our Group business the Complementary Alternative Medicine program underscores our commitment to providing high quality, affordable products and services to the small and midsize business market."

Guardian also offers its medical plan members health and wellness resources, discounts to fitness centers, a 24-hour NurseLine(sm) and a nurse outreach program.

For more information please contact your local Guardian Group Representative or log on to http://www.guardianlife.com/ to find a representative near you.

Guardian is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Group employee benefit business. In honor of this milestone the company will issue a series of educational surveys and reports to help employees, employers and benefit decision makers better understand how they can jumpstart their financial lives, improve recruitment, retention and employee satisfaction by maximizing the use and power of their workplace coverage. The first report released in the series is entitled, Benefits & Behavior: Spotlight on Dental. The report can be found at http://www.guardiandental.com/

About Guardian

Founded in 1860, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY (Guardian) is one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the United States. As of December 31, 2006, Guardian and its subsidiaries had $39.5 billion in assets (on a consolidated statutory basis). With more than 5,000 employees and 3,000 financial representatives, as well as more than 80 agencies nationwide, Guardian and its subsidiaries protect individuals, businesses, and their employees with life, disability, health, long-term care, and dental insurance products, and offer 401(k), annuities and other financial products and trust services. More information about Guardian can be obtained at: http://www.guardianlife.com/.

Website: http://www.guardianlife.com/
Website: http://www.guardiananytime.com/
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Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers general corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies, representing medical doctors, allied health professionals and other clinicians, entrepreneurs, and institutions.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine (also known as the Institute for Health, Ethics, Law, Policy & Society), a forum for exploring legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues involved in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, massage therapy, and herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. The most recent published book by Michael H. Cohen on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy pertaining to complementary, alternative and integrative medicine and related fields is Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion, which follows Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).

Health care and corporate lawyer Michael H. Cohen is licensed has been admitted to the Bar of California, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington D.C., and to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing).
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