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Traditional health insurance doesn't pay for alternative treatments like acupuncture, homeopathy, food supplements, or chiropractic care.
But now -- for the first time in Utah --- there is a health care plan that covers what others don't.
Will and Melissa Carr are among a growing number of people who want health care that focues more on health and prevention than treating illness. They go to the Total Health Institute in Lindon Utah --- a unique clinic where conventional and alternative health care providers work side by side.
They recently dropped their old insurance program for a new one -- called the Athena Healthcare Plan -- which covers a variety of services.
Melissa Carr: "WE WERE PAYING EXTRA TO COME HERE INSTEAD OF USING OUR INSURANCE AND IT JUST WORKED OUT REALLY WELL TO DROP THE OTHER INSURANCE AND NOT MAKE CO-PAYS."
They say their monthly payment dropped from 325 a month to 140 a month.
Dr. Michael Cutler is a board certified physician who created the Athena Healthcare Plan for patients who want the kind of integrated health care offered at the Total Health Institute.
Michael Cutler, M.D. Athena Healthcare Plan: "BRINGING CONVENTIONAL WESTERN MEDICINE.... THE BEST OF MEDICATIONS AND SURGERIES THAT WE ARE ALL AWARE OF ... AND COMBINING IT WITH THE BEST OF COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE.. "
The Athena Healthcare Plan overlays traditional insurance with a mantle of holistic choices that can be used monthly through a point system. Services like massage, chiropractic, cranial therapy, acupuncture, IV Therapies or naturopathy.
This Utah County company which produces food supplements recently added the Athena plan as a benefit to employees.
Shelley Osterloh Eyewitness News: "NATURES SUNSHINE EMPLOYS NEARLY 500 PEOPLE. ADMINISTRATORS BELIEVE THE ATHENA HEALTH PLAN WILL PROVIDE BETTER OVERALL HEALTH FOR ITS WORKERS AND REDUCE COSTS."
Chris Frasier Human Resource Dir. Nature's Sunshine: "KEEPING OUR EMPLOYEES HEALTHIER WE THINK IN THE LONG TERM...THEY'LL BE MORE PRODUCTIVE, THEY'LL BE HAPPIER THEY'LL BE LESS SICK DAYS... THOSE THINGS THAT WE ANTICIPATE WILL BE BENEFICIAL TO OUR COMPANY."
While not for everyone... the Athena Healthcare plan... provides another option for those who want their health care dollars to pay for alternative types of care and service.