Acupuncture practice in Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador

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We’re writing to let you know about updates to the regulations in Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador.  These updates affect the group benefit plans which include coverage for the services of an acupuncturist.

Ontario

In 2006, provincial legislation was passed to establish the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario.  Since that time, the Transitional Council of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario was formed to develop regulations and to establish the College for the governance of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practices in the province.

The Transitional Council has begun the task of forming a list of regulated practitioners who will be recognized as meeting the regulatory requirements as laid down in law.  Practicing acupuncturists who want to be included on this list must complete a course and write an exam in jurisprudence principles.  Successful candidates will have their names published on the list.  The first series of these exams were held in October 2012 and will continue until the Spring of 2013. 

We will continue to follow the Transitional Council’s progress and will provide you with updates as they become available.  For now, there will be no changes in how we process acupuncture claims.  However, once the list of regulated practitioners is published, only those acupuncturists who appear on the list will be considered eligible providers for claims reimbursement in Ontario.  It’s important to note that even though past claims from your acupuncturist may have been covered, future claims from the same practitioner will be declined if the acupuncturist is not registered and recognized by the College. 

Newfoundland and Labrador

As of October 2012, acupuncture is a regulated profession in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.  Only acupuncturists who are registered with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Newfoundland and Labrador will be considered eligible providers for acupuncture claims reimbursement in that province.  Even though past claims from an acupuncturist may have been covered, future claims from the same practitioner will be declined if the acupuncturist is not registered with the College. 

Share with your members

We have prepared a communication to share with your plan members if your group benefits plan includes coverage for acupuncture and may be affected by these updates.  Going forward, it’s a good idea for plan members to check with their provider to see if they have registered with the College in their province. 

Questions?

Contact your Sun Life Financial group benefits representative.