What support ?  Aide-Sociale.fr
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What support ? Aide-Sociale.fr

By Sandra Jacques / Updated January 12, 2024

Faced with certain ailments or out of a desire to favor alternative therapeutic approaches, more and more people these days are doing call for unconventional medicines also called alternative medicines.

With nearly 3,000 acupuncturist doctors in France, acupuncture today occupies a special place in our territory. Acupuncture comes from traditional Chinese medicine and can treat certain pathologies such as chronic pain, anxiety, depression, pregnancy-related disorders and also certain addictions.

So, what is the average price of an acupuncture session and Is it reimbursed by Health Insurance? ? Is it possible to obtain reimbursement from your health insurance? Find, in this article, all the information regarding reimbursement for your acupuncture sessions.


How much does an acupuncture session cost?

In France, the legal practice of acupuncture is reserved for doctors, dentists and midwives. Doctors and dentists must have acupuncture qualification (formerly general acupuncture IUD), while midwives must obtain an obstetric acupuncture IUD over a two-year period. Only these practitioners can display the words “acupuncturist” on their nameplate.

However, it is possible to benefit from acupuncture sessions delivered by “non-doctors” if they have received training in a private school or abroad. Concerning prices, given that acupuncture is a gentle and unconventional medicine, there is no no fixed scale.

An acupuncture session can therefore be provided by:

    • An acupuncturist doctor holding an approved doctorate in medicine followed by 2 years of specialization in acupuncture.
    • An acupuncturistspecialized in traditional Chinese medicine, but not being a doctor, dentist or midwife.

In the first case, if your acupuncturist is an approved doctor, the cost of an acupuncture session will be determined according to the agreement sector. For example, for a doctor in sector 1, a session could, in theory, cost you €25. Conversely, in the event of excess fees, you could potentially be charged between €50 and €100or even more.

In the second case, the price of the consultation will mainly depend on the commercial policy of the acupuncturist who will define his fees taking into account his experience and the various charges he has to bear.

Depending on the acupuncturist you consult, the price of an acupuncture session can vary, on average, from 35 to 75 euros.

In all cases, before making an appointment with an acupuncturist doctor, we advise you to find out about the prices charged by the specialist you have chosen in order to better anticipate the different reimbursement possibilities available to you.

Good to know : to find an acupuncturist near you, you can consult the directory put online on the Social Security website or that offered by the French acupuncture association.

Social security: how are acupuncture sessions reimbursed?

Reimbursements for acupuncture sessions, such as prices vary depending on whether you use a approved general practitioner and trained in acupuncture or practitioner applying fee overruns.

To benefit from the best possible reimbursement, you will therefore need to be particularly vigilant regarding the following points:

    • Is the chosen acupuncturist approved?
    • Does the acupuncturist doctor you wish to consult charge overcharges?

Social Security can then cover the reimbursement of an acupuncture session under certain conditions:

    • The session must be carried out by a licensed acupuncturist.
    • The session must have been prescribed in the part of a coordinated care pathway.

If these two criteria are respected, reimbursement of the acupuncture session by Social Security will be made. up to 70% of the conventional rate of sector 1. In other words, your session will be reimbursed to you on the basis of a consultation with a general practitioner.

On the other hand, if you contact an acupuncturist practicing excess fees (sector 2), coverage by Health Insurance will not exceed not 30%.

Finally, if your acupuncture sessions are not carried out by an approved doctor (sector 3), you will not benefit from any reimbursement by Health Insurance .

Good to know : the coordinated care pathway guarantees better management of your health expenses. To benefit from it, you must declare a treating physician who will then be in charge of coordinating your care.

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Acupuncture reimbursement: what about mutual insurance?

Some mutual health insurance companies can cover the total or partial refund of your acupuncture sessions. Indeed, depending on the contract you have chosen, two scenarios are possible:

    • If you go to an acupuncturist approved by sector 1 or 2: your mutual health insurance will reimburse you, in accordance with the terms of your contract, the part not covered by Social Security.
    • If the acupuncturist you have chosen is not approved, your complementary health insurance can, according to the terms established in your contract, reimburse you all or part of your bill. Indeed, depending on the mutual insurance company, the guarantee covering acupuncture procedures can take the form of either a predefined number of sessions or a lump sum amount. Note that this guarantee may apply to all alternative medicine consultations, and not exclusively to acupuncture.

In all cases, you will need to ask your acupuncturist to prepare an invoice in order to send it to your mutual health insurance who will reimburse you according to the terms of your contract.

Good to know : If you are interested in this alternative medicine, but your contract does not provide a guarantee for this type of care, you can contact your mutual insurance company to find out the different possibilities available to you. You will be able to add an option to your contract or, depending on the impact on your contributions, opt for a new formula offering better support.

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Photo credit: © MarkFGD / Adobe


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