Chiropractic care entails diagnosing and adjusting back problems by manually manipulating the bones in the spine to ease pain and restore mobility. Years ago, chiropractic care and other forms of alternative medicine were considered unorthodox and often weren't covered by health insurance providers. Today, as more and more insurance carriers are looking for ways to promote wellness and good health, the rules have changed.
Will My Insurance Pay for a Chiropractor?
Start by finding out what is covered by your health insurance plan. Check to see if your chiropractic care team is listed among their approved providers for those services. It helps to determine if your insurance carrier is a Healthcare Management Organization or a Preferred Provider Organization. HMOs will generally only cover practitioners who are on their approved list. PPOs tend to pay for any chiropractic service, usually up to 80 percent of fees charged by providers not on their preferred list, as well as a prearranged fee to the provider if they are preferred.
Will a Doctor Recommend a Chiropractor?
Approach your insurance provider, even if you don't have chiropractor coverage, as many health insurance companies operate under the 'squeaky wheel' theory. If your medical doctor agrees with the need for chiropractic care, ask for a letter stating that for the insurance company. Be certain to thoroughly fill out your medical history form when you visit a chiropractor for the first time, paying special care to questions about prior injuries. If you were injured in an automobile accident or work-related injury, talk to your automobile insurance company or employer about possible coverage of chiropractic treatment.
What are the Alternatives?
Even with insurance coverage, chiropractic care usually comes with a moderately expensive price tag. You will want to receive an estimate from your chiropractor about the duration of treatment your condition requires. If insurance is not an option, get your chiropractor's office team to help you find alternatives to your health insurance if you can't get coverage for your visits. Many practitioners have special financing plans available. You might also look for more information about insurance coverage and rights of the insured online at the Insurance.com website.
Things to Consider
Don't be discouraged if you have trouble getting coverage for your chiropractic visits. Keep the situation in perspective and remember how important pain relief is to your overall well being. Also, before you start any alternative medical technique, be aware that many have not been scientifically evaluated. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and discipline has its own rules about how alternative medicine practitioners are licensed. If you decide to visit one, choose one licensed by a recognized national organization. Consult your primary health care provider and keep your doctor informed about the alternative medical technique you undertake.