While fees for homeopathic care by homeopathic M.D.s tend to be similar to conventional physicians', the amount of time that homeopaths spend with their patients tends to be significantly longer. Homeopathic physicians earn good incomes, though generally not as high as the average medical doctor.
The actual cost of the medicine itself is negligible. If only one medicine is prescribed (as is most common), it costs between $4.00 and $10.00. Some homeopaths provide whatever they prescribe without charge.
The costs of homeopathic care, like the costs of all medical care, are high, but the costs of illness, especially chronic illness, are even higher. Some people may be tempted to treat themselves and avoid professional homeopaths, but such decisions can be more costly in the longrun because it is highly unlikely that this care will be effective.
When one considers that homeopaths typically discourage frequent visits unless they are medically necessary, and that the time between visits ranges from one to six months, the yearly cost of homeopathic care is considerably less than conventional medical care as well as most types of alternative medicine. This does not even take into account the further cost savings that accrue from the ability of homeopathic medicines to strengthen one's immune system and prevent future costly diseases.
While medically trained homeopaths will recommend laboratory analysis when indicated, they rarely need to run such tests to determine the appropriate homeopathic medicine. Because of this, they tend to perform laboratory tests significantly less frequently than do conventional physicians,1 further reducing costs. The absence of side effects from homeopathic medicines also reduce the cost of care, since side effects usually lead to the need for more medical treatment.
The French government compared all the costs associated with treatment from a homeopathic physician with that of a conventional physician and discovered that homeopathic care costs one half as much.2 Considering the growing concern about the cost of health care, let alone the concerns about the efficacy of therapies, homeopathic medicine again seems to provide significant advantages.
Will Insurance Cover Homeopathic Care?
Because the vast majority of professional homeopaths in the United States are licensed professionals such as medical doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopaths, and others, most insurance companies pay for their care. Consumers are encouraged to review their own insurance to determine the coverage of chiropractors, acupuncturists, and naturopaths, because many policies allow only a limited number of visits and some do not cover any visits at all. If your policy does not cover the care you want, rather than immediately switch insurance companies, contact the company or your insurance broker and inform them of your interests. Only when consumers make their desires heard will the insurance market change. It is also good to know that there are now some insurance companies that specialize in coverage of alternative health care. Look for their advertisements in health magazines or consult an insurance broker.
When a homeopath is not a licensed professional, it is unlikely that an insurance company will cover his or her care, except in instances when a medical doctor prescribes homeopathic care and the insurance company agrees to pay for specialty care when prescribed by a medical doctor.