Will Insurance Cover Holistic Cancer Treatments? 

Holistic cancer treatment, sometimes referred to as alternative medicine or complementary treatment,  is the medical approach for healing a person as a whole rather than as their single health ailment. So, instead of targeting someone’s condition, which in this case would be cancer, the treatment process instead focuses on the overall wellness of the mind, body, and spirit. The idea is that by aligning and bettering someone as a whole, their specific health condition will also improve.  

Generally, holistic treatment can include mental health services, diet, exercise, massage therapy,  acupuncture, naturopathy, and more. With a rise in popularity, many are wondering if holistic cancer treatment is right for them and whether their insurance companies will cover the cost. Here’s what you need to know. 

The Allure of Holistic Treatments  

If your body has been resistant to a traditional treatment plan, or you’re hesitant to take on standard treatment methods, alternative medicine can be appealing. With massage therapy, for example, it’s understandable why a holistic approach can fit into a treatment plan— helping to alleviate physical,  

emotional, and mental symptoms, promoting overall wellness, and encouraging your body to heal.  Additionally, other areas of one’s life often begin to improve when holistic approaches are taken, just as intended.  

Common Types of Holistic Treatments 

The alternative treatment option that’s best for you may depend on your needs. It’s important to do thorough research to avoid adopting a holistic plan that will make your symptoms worse. For this reason, you should speak with your healthcare provider and qualified professionals to understand your options in addition to doing independent research.  

Some common holistic treatments include:  





Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 

Exercise (Yoga, Tai Chi) 





Music therapy


These methods can be combined and tailored to target a patient’s unique needs and even help to alleviate certain symptoms. For example, to alleviate stress, aromatherapy may be a great option, but for fatigue, exercise and massage can offer relief.  

Do Insurance Companies Cover Holistic Cancer Treatments?  

Whether your insurance company covers holistic cancer treatments will depend on its unique guidelines. While the treatment option is on the rise in popularity and more insurance companies are open to helping patients navigate holistic treatment plans, it is a newer concept in mainstream healthcare and one that some insurance companies may be stubborn to adopt. Some companies will allow holistic treatments with certain contingencies, such as referrals, or in-network providers, which may not be available.  

Discussing your options with your provider can help you properly understand your choices. In some cases, you may be able to partake in a benefits program through your insurer that isn’t covered by insurance, but they may provide discounted recommendations.  

What to Do If Your Insurance Company Won’t Cover Holistic Cancer Treatments 

If you can’t afford to pay out of pocket for your healthcare, which is the case for many Americans, then funding alternatives can be difficult. One option that can act as a supplemental insurance option is a  cancer insurance policy, also referred to interchangeably as specified disease insurance.  

With this policy, you pay premiums as you would with a traditional health insurance plan, but the policies usually offer flexibility in what they cover, often paying out a lump sum to use in the way you need. Purchasing a cancer insurance policy can help with gaps in your coverage, though it should not be used in place of a health insurance policy as it will only help cover very specific diagnoses as outlined in the policy. Whichever route you choose to go, it’s wise to talk with your insurance provider to figure out what your options are so you can get the coverage you need. 

The content herein is provided for general informational purposes and is not provided as tax, legal, health or financial advice for any person or for any specific situation. Employers, employees, and other individuals should contact their own advisers about their situations. For complete details, including availability and costs of Aflac insurance, please contact your local Aflac agent. 

Aflac insurance coverage is underwritten by Aflac. In New York, coverage is underwritten by Aflac New York.  Aflac | WWHQ | 1932 Wynnton Road | Columbus, Ga 31999 

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