Does Your Medical Aid Cover Homeopathic Medicine?

Does Your Medical Aid Cover Homeopathic Medicine?


Homeopathy is a complementary approach to medicine built on the core belief that the body can heal itself using natural remedies prescribed in small doses. But how do medical aid plans feel about this 'like cures like' homeopathic treatment?


Homeopathy has become more widely accepted and sought after in recent years. The Homeopathic Association of South Africa (HSA) is recognised by the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA), which was created in accordance with the Allied Health Professions Act, 63 of 1982.


The AHPCSA oversees other allied healthcare like Chinese medicine and acupuncture, reflexology and naturopathy. And for the record, homeopathy is not naturopathy, which takes a drug-free approach and uses diet, exercise and massage in its place.


How does homeopathy differ from traditional medicine?


It all comes down to the 'like cures like' strategy. Homeopaths take the irritant that's causing the ailment and then administer it to the patient in small doses using a natural substitute which is diluted for the correct potency.


Traditional medicine is tied to cultures and indigenous peoples using age-old treatments to help maintain wellness, prevent ill health and nurse common sicknesses.


Another difference is that homeopathic training involves a five-year, masters-level degree (MTech Hom) from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) or the Durban University of Technology (DUT). These full-time studies must be completed before a homeopath can be officially registered with the AHPCSA.


Popular homeopathic treatments


Homeopathy believes in holistically treating patients, which means before a script is filled out, the patient's physical, mental and emotional wellbeing is taken into consideration during a consultation. The 'like cures like' or 'law of similars' method relies on your immune system to do the healing.


This focus on the immune system also means that homeopathic medicine can be effective in preventative or management care with conditions such as allergies, hayfever or asthma.


Homeopathic medicine has been used to treat hormonal imbalances, colds and flu, fertility issues, gastric conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or diarrhoea, as well as fevers and ear or throat infections. The idea is to treat the cause rather than focus on relieving the signs and symptoms.


Since homeopaths control the potency of the natural doses, the medication typically doesn't add other side effects on top of the current condition that's being treated. Plus, this dilution makes it safer for more at-risk patients, for example babies, small children and those who are pregnant.


What you should know about medical aid and homeopathic medicine


As homeopathy has become more mainstream with recognition by the AHPCSA and its inclusion in the Health Sciences faculties at UJ and DUT, the complementary medical practice has also received medical aid recognition. Plus, more and more homeopaths are on medical aid lists of approved network practitioners. However, homeopathy is not listed as a Prescribed Minimum Benefit (PMB) and falls into category 5 on the Pharmacy Exclusions of South Africa (PESA)list.



This means that for most medical aid plans, you'll have to cover homeopathic consultations and medicines with your medical aid savings account or from the specified out-of-hospital limits determined by the medical aid option.


If you swear by homeopathy or are wanting to include it in your regimen, check whether complementary and alternative medicine is covered by your medical aid plan. If you're looking to change plans because of it, use the free Hippo Medical Aid comparison tool for a quick, easy process. The comparison tool won't tell you about homeopathy cover, but further assistance is available via a telephonic consultation.


This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice.

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