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The country's first holistic health insurance plan has hit Colorado, integrating self-care, self-reliance and natural "alternative" medicine with the traditional remedies of conventional medicine.
"The Wellness II Health Plan," a product of American Western Life Insurance Company of California, could be the best prescription yet for the rising costs and over-use ailing the nation's health-care system.
The holistic plan promotes consumer education and requires that those covered by the insurance policy help manage their own health care.
"Basically, we are health, not medical insurance," said Leland Wolf, president of American Western Life, which is based in Foster City, Calif. "We're covering people who are actively interested in staying healthy, rather than paying doctors for treating patients who are sick."
The Wellness II plan is one of five wellness products American Western Life offers to individuals and groups in Colorado. The plan includes:
* An annual visit to a "wellness" doctor and development of an individualized wellness plan.
* Access to the "Wellness Line," a 24-hour phone line staffed by naturopathic doctors and nurses who provide educational information or doctor visit referrals.