Chelation Therapy: FSA Eligibility
What is chelation therapy?
Chelation therapy is a medical technique used to treat a person who is poisoned by heavy metals, such as lead, mercury and arsenic. The technique is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat lead poisoning, and it involves injecting chelating agents such as Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) into the body that will bind to these heavy metals, so that they can be excreted through the urine. Other intravenous agents used to treat heavy metal poisoning include DMPS (2,3-Dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid) for mercury detoxification, as well as oral chelating agents like DMSA (Dimercaptosuccinic acid) (WebMD).
How is chelation therapy used?
In addition to chelation therapy's primary role in treating heavy metal poisoning, this therapy has also seen significant medical research in the treatment of atherosclerosis and other disorders like Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, autism and other major medical issues. Because chelating agents have the ability to bind to specific substances in the body, there is a prevailing thought in the medical community that this can also be adapted to treat other medical conditions that are exacerbated by the presence of material build-up.
For instance, EDTA has been found to be effective in reducing the amount of calcium in the bloodstream, and calcium is a key component in the plaque that is found in diseased blood vessels. As such, some physicians believe EDTA could be used to treat atherosclerosis (a hardening of the arteries), as opposed to more invasive surgeries like coronary artery bypass surgery or angioplasty. While these treatment methods still require more research and testing and have not delivered any definitive results, chelation therapy may have a future in treating a wide range of potential medical conditions (NPR).
How do I obtain a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) for chelation therapy?
A Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) from a doctor for chelation therapy is necessary for reimbursement with most benefits providers to ensure that it is necessary for the treatment of a medical condition. This letter must outline how an account holder's medical condition necessitates chelation therapy, how the treatment will be used to alleviate the issue and how long the treatment will last. If the treatment plan exceeds the current plan year, another LMN will have to be provided to the benefits administrator to cover the duration of the treatment.