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Should Health Supplements Be Covered by Insurance Companies?

Updated on November 3, 2020
Don Bobbitt profile image

Don is a Writer and a Storyteller. He has published over 9 books on varied subjects along with many articles and commentary on his blogs.

Many Health Supplements work well.

The FDA should cover the costs of properly certified Supplemental medications.
The FDA should cover the costs of properly certified Supplemental medications. | Source

Health Supplements Are Popular

If I were sitting in a large room full of my fellow Seniors and asked them to;”Raise Your Hand if You Take Supplements”; I truly believe that all of those Seniors would raise their hands.

My point here is that everyone doesn’t grow old and develop such dangerous diseases and illnesses as Cancers, or COPD or one of the many other devastating illness’ which demand the use of the very expensive drugs we hear so much about.

Most of Us Live Healthy Lives

The fact is that the majority of us Seniors are able to live long and relatively healthy lives, without ever experiencing even the more common health problems that some of us have to deal with.

In fact most of us Seniors live full and fruitful lives with only the occasional prescription being necessary for the treatment of a simple cold or a slightly elevated blood sugar level or some other easy-to-treat illness.

Most of us are able to; take long walks, ride bikes, swim, fish, and even jog without endangering our lives; and many regularly exercise regularly into their nineties and even older.

The Effects of the Aging Process

As our bodies age, things do wear out that need treatment, and honestly, some of the things that wear out do require complex treatments and the use of expensive drugs; but usually only for a short period of time as they recover.

Sure, there will be certain people who will develop problems with their Hearts, or Lungs, or Livers, or Kidneys, to name a few of the more common health issues that attack some Seniors.

For the majority of us, our worst health problems are those that come from our bodies just wearing out; our bone joints wear out and cause us levels of pain that range from mild (the most common) to extreme (more rare).

Our medical system has progressed to where a knee or hip replacement is considered a simple procedure where the patient is able to be back out and around within days and able to play their v=favorite sports within weeks.

These conditions will require prescription drugs for these short periods of recovery and then the patient will often get a dozen or more years of pain-free use of their new joints.

Rosemary plant

Rosemary is a popular Natural health aid for some people as well as being used for cooking.
Rosemary is a popular Natural health aid for some people as well as being used for cooking.

Some Supplements Work, some don't

But there are natural supplemental medications that can often handle most of a person’s pain without the person having to resort to the more serious types of surgery or joint replacement.

For instance, two of the most popular natural supplemental medications that are used to reduce joint pain are Glucosamine and Turmeric.

In fact, there are dozens of other natural supplements, that people are taking around the world for pains and other common physical symptoms, which are known to be effective and cheap treatments.

Insurance and Supplements

The problem for many of us Seniors is the fact that Medicare does not pay anything when you use these supplements, even if they work great for you.

It seems that when it comes to paying for supplemental medications, the Insurance companies refuse to pay anything using the excuse that they are “not prescription medications” and they are not manufactured under strict process', or are they certified as effective.

Well, if you go into a store that specializes in selling supplements you will find out that there are several certification companies which specialize in testing and confirming the dosage, purity and type of supplements which are used.

Even so, you’ll get no help from Medicare or other insurance companies because these medications have not spent the fortunes that the big pharmaceutical companies throw at testing their "synthetic" medications in order to meet Medicare (FDA) testing requirements.

The problem for many of us who use supplemental medications, is that the prices keep going up every year, and our options are either; pay up, or be faced with some FDA approved medicine that costs much more and will often have horrible side effects when used.

So, you guessed it, I use Supplements; each of which I use because they actually work for me and they ease the pain in my achy joints. And these natural supplements have often been used for centuries as what people once called “folk medicine”.

And of course, I have pay for my Supplements myself.

But I wouldn’t mind a little help from Medicare and I believe this is true for my fellow Seniors.

As I have already mentioned, the majority of us are not taking the seriously strong and often dangerous medications that are approved by the FDA and are pushed by the Pharmaceutical sales people to Doctors.

For one thing, these manufactured medications often just cost too much for most of us to afford. Agin, because of the high prices of prescription medications, we Seniors are often forced to look for alternatives that quite often are are simple natural supplements which people have relied on for hundreds of years.

Sure, some of these supplements might only work for a percentage of the people who take them; but when they do work, we Seniors are able to save a lot on our medicinal costs

Of course, far too often, the Doctors themselves are the problem for a person who wants to try using a supplement. Far too many of today’s Doctors have been prescribing the same medications for years, and are not willing to consider the use of even the most popular supplements on the market today.

Supplements That Work For Me.

I use Supplements for several of my Health problems and each of these work great for me including;

  • I take 2 baby Aspirin (85mg) a day and this helps thin my blood so that I don’t need to take one of the popularly prescribed and expensive blood thinner pills.
  • I take the popular, Turmeric and Glucosamine pills to ease my joint pains down to almost nothing most days and I don’t have to start taking any addictive pain medications.
  • I take a daily Vitamin pill designed for the needs of a Senior, and from what I read, nearly all Doctors recommend taking these.
  • I also use a combination of Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 in one pill for my Heart and Blood health.

And drinking a glass of Wine in the Evening isn’t a bad thing for most people either.

‘Nuff Said!

by DON BOBBITT, 2020

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Don Bobbitt

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    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      12 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Eric - You are one of many. We just accept the noem, and I think it's time for a positive change in what is covered for us Seniors.

      DON

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well I'll be. Only thought of this in passing from time to time. My doctor is going to get an ear full from me. I pay far more for supplements than meds.

      I get most of this stuff from our Vietnamese traditional medical practitioner though -- like fish oil and Turmeric. Time to toss out my norm.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      12 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Peggy - It's great to see that your Insurance plan has a method that allows you to use Supplements as well as prescriptions. Me, on the other hand? I have a Kidney transplant and I am a Diabetic, so my prescription medications would run me in the thousands annually if it were not for my insurance. So my supplements are totally out of my pocket.

      I just feel that these supplements are a valuable resource for so many of us that we should have them available and paid for by our insurance companies.

      Thanks for the comment.

      DON

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      12 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Like you, I take Glucosamine and Turmeric as well as some other supplements. Fortunately, our insurance company allows us to choose these things and others from a CVS catalog up to $50 each month. It is a huge help! We no longer pay for vitamins, etc. out of our pocket.

      Perhaps in the future more insurance companies will do the same for seniors.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      12 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Liz - You are so right, Sure, my perspective may be a little skewed because I live down here in Florida and in a 55+ community.

      But, it is common for the Seniors I know to utilize two or more Supplemental medicines for their ailments. I frequent 4 different Doctors and three of those admit that they used Supplementals themselves.

      Imagine the savings for Medicare if they were to cover these much cheaper and invariably safe treatments.

      Thanks for your comment and support,

      DON

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      12 months ago from UK

      You make an interesting point. Surely if insurance paid routinely for supplements, they might save having to pay out more for medical treatment that might be avoidable?

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