According to a survey, 35 million people receive chiropractic care every year in the United States, and over 1 million chiropractor adjustments are made every day. Despite these figures, the cost of chiropractic care can be exorbitant. Due to this reason, patients try to receive care from chiropractors that take insurance.
You must be wondering, ‘does medical insurance cover chiropractic treatment?’ fortunately, many insurers cover chiropractic services, but there is more to learn. The chiropractic insurance plans by each provider are different and majorly depend on the type of care you receive. This page provides a detailed overview of how insurance works for chiropractic care and which chiropractors take insurance.
What is chiropractic care?
It is a therapeutic treatment offering an alternative to medicine by making adjustments to the neck, back, and spine. The treatment is done to minimize the pain, correct alignment, treat injuries, and promote the body’s ability to heal in the said areas. Due to the nature of this treatment, it is often referred to as joint manipulation or spinal manipulation. Apart from that, patients with joint pain, chronic muscle pain, and muscle spasms visit the experts for pain relief.
In the evaluation appointment, a chiropractor may discuss general health issues like your exercise routine, healthy habits, nutrition intake, diet, and lifestyle changes. Patients who follow a healthy routine tend to experience better results.
Who are chiropractors?
Chiropractors are ‘primary contact practitioners.’ That means, they don’t need a referral from a GP to see patients. These healthcare professionals work to improve a patient’s neuro-musculoskeletal system, which includes – bones, nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The most common reasons patients receive chiropractic adjustment include:
- Neck pain
- Lower back pain
- Muscle pain
Moreover, they also deal with pain anywhere in or around the jaw, shoulders, elbow, wrist, pelvis, hips, knees, and ankles.
Also Read: Most Essential Chiropractor Tools that Chiropractors Use
Does medical insurance cover chiropractic care?
More and more people have started opting for chiropractic care instead of medication or complex procedures. With that, the popularity of this treatment has increased and made several insurers include the treatment in their care plan. Many insurers add this care plan as part of their ‘alternative’ care. However, they impose certain restrictions on this medical care regarding what they will include and what not.
While every insurer has different limitations in their alternative care plans, here we have mentioned the most common ones. Still, we would recommend you to go through your insurance plan in depth to learn about your particular restrictions.
3 Common restrictions for chiropractic treatment by insurers
1. Reference from physicians to receive chiropractic care
Some insurance companies require a referral from your primary care provider for chiropractic care before they cover your services.
2. Cap on how many times you can receive chiropractic care
Often times insurance providers put a cap on how many times you can receive chiropractic care in a month or a year, depending on their policy. The provider won’t reimburse for the visits outside of the covered number. To be sure, contact your insurance provider and learn more about the policy details, and don’t just rely on what’s mentioned on the website.
3. Restricts the service when the ailment is cured
As we said previously, your insurance plan limits how many times you can receive chiropractic care. When the treatment hits a plateau, your plan stops covering the said treatment. This typically happens when your provider authorizes you to receive chiropractic treatment for a specific ailment and stops covering after recovery.
List of Chiropractors that take Insurance
Here is a summarized list of chiropractors that take insurance in the United States.
There could be more, but these are some of our trusted chiropractic care services in the US that accept insurance from limited providers. You can check their website to confirm if they accept your plan.
List of Insurers that include Chiropractic Care in their Plans
Again, the coverage level will vary from provider to provider, here is the list of insurers who include chiropractic services in their care plans.
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida
- UnitedHealth Care
What happens if my Insurer doesn’t cover Chiropractic Services?
In such a case, you would be paying out-of-pocket for the received care. While the fee may vary, generally, chiropractic treatment may cost you between $27 to $300. We would still recommend contacting your provider and telling them about your situation. There are cases when providers make amendments to the plan in legit cases. Another option is asking your doctor to contact your insurer and tell them about the situation. This might not assure you of the coverage, but they will work out a practical solution for your situation.
If none of these tricks work, your last resort is to get supplemental health coverage. It will fill in the cost gaps in your current policy plan.
How would I know if my plan covers chiropractic treatment?
You can determine if your insurance plan covers chiropractic care by simply opening the provider’s website, logging in to your portal, and checking the benefits and treatment coverage section. If your provider covers chiropractic care, it will likely be mentioned there.
Another way to figure it out is to contact your insurance company directly. Their customer service representative will guide you in detail on what and what not your plan covers. Some insurance ID cards have covered services lists printed on the back of their cards. You can check yours too.
Assuming your insurance plan covers chiropractic services, you will still have to pay for the deductible before receiving the covered amount. Also, you will probably be paying a copay during every visit.
Do insurance companies restrict chiropractic adjustments?
It mainly depends on the provider covering the service. Some health insurance policies cover basic treatments while others may reimburse for additional care like adjustments, ultrasound, radiography, and so on.
How much does chiropractic treatment cost after insurance?
If your provider covers chiropractic adjustments, you can expect them to cover 50% or even 100% cost in some cases, depending on the policy and the care you receive. The insurance will cover the larger amount, you pay the rest of the portion, which is usually very small.
Do chiropractors accept state insurance (Medicare or Medicaid)?
Whether or not a chiropractor accepts state insurance depends on the coverage you have and the state you live in. for instance, Medicare covers basic manual adjustments via its Medicare Part B. On the other hand, very few states allow Medicaid to reimburse for chiropractic treatments.
Health insurers will likely cover chiropractic adjustments under their ‘Alternative treatment’ policy. That said, you will still need to check their online portal or call them directly to determine if chiropractic treatments can be covered under the Alternative treatment plan. If required, you will need to obtain a referral from your family doctor.
Lastly, even if your insurer covers you for chiropractic service, it won’t be for the long term. Eventually, you will be paying out of pocket. So it’s better to get supplemental insurance to be on the safe side.
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