Many people benefit from chiropractic care every year, and chiropractic care is frequently covered by private insurance companies. This is a very good thing, since it allows individuals and families who otherwise might not be in a financial position to afford treatment to get the help they need. However, insurers often place significant limitations on where, how often, how long and for what types of conditions they will cover chiropractic care. And with the new insurance mandates coming into effect with President Obama’s health care reform plan, nothing is yet certain in terms of chiropractic coverage.
Approximately 44.6 million Americans suffer from musculoskeletal disorders, and we spend $262.7 billion each year treating them. Chiropractic has been shown to be effective in both preventing and treating musculoskeletal problems, which can save the health care industry (and its consumers) billions of dollars.
Unfortunately, insurance companies in the US are more often purveyors of “sickness care” than “health care”. The proven benefits of providing preventative health care for policy holders have been almost completely ignored by the insurance industry. This is especially unfortunate now, since nothing works better than preventative care (including regular chiropractic adjustments) at keeping overall health care costs down. The result is that many insurance companies will pay for a limited number of visits to the chiropractor only if the treatments relate to a specific injury or condition. Anything supplementary to that must be paid directly by the patient.
For now, the best way to find out how much of your chiropractic care will be covered by your insurance company is to contact them directly and ask them to specify exactly what is covered. As mentioned above, many insurance companies will also limit either the dollar amount they will pay for chiropractic services or the number of visits. Many HMOs also require that you go to a chiropractor in their network. PPOs, on the other hand, often pay up to 80 percent of chiropractic fees for providers outside their network. Whatever type of health care plan you happen to have, though, you should always check with your insurer to be sure about coverage.
If you are interested in seeing a particular chiropractor, call their office and ask about the insurance they take. They can tell you if your insurance covers treatments, and to what extent you can expect your care to be paid by insurance. Many chiropractors will also work with you to establish a payment plan so you can still receive the benefits of chiropractic care, even if your insurance company will not cover it.
If you have any questions about insurance or payment types we accept, please call or visit our office at 508-620-1585 or visit www.metrowestspineclinic.com. We’ll be happy to help!
Dr. Howard Austrager has been a local Framingham chiropractor for the past 13 years. He is clinic director of Metrowest Spine Clinic at 235 Walnut St., Framingham MA.