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Regulation of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture in Ontario

News Release

Legislative changes

As of April 1, 2013, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture became regulated by the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO) under provincial law. The College is a self-regulatory body responsible for governing the profession. It protects and serves the public interest by ensuring that only those registered with the CTCMPAO can practice traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture.

Starting April 1, 2013, only practitioners who are registered with the CTCMPAO can practice traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture and issue receipts with the designations of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner or Acupuncturist in Ontario. While most practitioners were already aware that the new regulation would be coming into effect this spring, some are still in the process of having their applications to the CTCMPAO reviewed.

What this means for you

Under our group policies, we only cover claims for acupuncture services that are rendered by regulated service providers. However, in accordance with our commitment to providing superior service, we do not wish to inconvenience plan members who have unwittingly been receiving services from practitioners who had not satisfied the registration requirements as of April 1, 2013.

Therefore, depending on the circumstances, we may approve claims incurred between April 1 and May 31, 2013 for acupuncture services rendered by unregulated service providers. If we do approve a claim for services rendered by an unregulated service provider, we will advise the plan member of our position regarding future claims by the service provider in order to prevent the plan member from having a denied claim in the future. This grace period extends only to May 31, 2013. All claims for acupuncture services rendered by unregulated service providers incurred on or after June 1, 2013 will be declined in accordance with the following policy exclusion relating to paramedical services:

  • Fees for care provided by one of the paramedical practitioners listed in the Summary of Benefits, provided the practitioner is licensed by the appropriate provincial or federal organization to practice his profession in accordance with the rules of his profession.

If you have any questions about this matter, please contact your benefits advisor or your Industrial Alliance group account representative. You may also contact our Call Centre at 1-877-422-6487.

For additional information about the new regulation, visit the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario’s website at http://www.ctcmpao.on.ca/regulation/index.html.