How to Make the Most of Chiropractic Insurance Coverage

Health insurance is a necessity for everyone: the world can be a scary place. People get sick, get hurt, and above all they need regular access to medical practitioners who can help them make good decisions regarding their health to lower the chances of chronic conditions. With health care costs rising every year, it's in the best interest of insurers and individuals alike to look into less-invasive choices that improve health in general, which is where chiropractic insurance coverage comes in.

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic care is considered a kind of complementary and alternative medicine. Although its theoretical roots are controversial, many of its techniques, which involve the manual manipulation of the body with emphasis on the spine, have proven very beneficial. The premise is that many health issues can be resolved with proper alignment of the vertebra, and this does have some validity, since pinched nerves and vertebral torsions can cause a general downturn in health and chronic pain. Chiropractors also often use massage, warm moist heat, and traction therapies. Those with back and neck pain, especially from car accidents, falls, and other trauma, find chiropractic a godsend.

Why and how do I Get Chiropractic Care?

If a patient is experiencing back and neck pain, they should seek care from their primary care physician first, to rule out any other medical issues, such as hernias, blood clots, and fractures. After an evaluation of a skeletomuscular issue, the doctor will advise seeing an appropriate specialist, such as a physical therapist, osteopath, or chiropractor, depending on the nature of the issue. The chiropractor will also evaluate the patient with X-rays and physical tests, to determine the best course of treatment. Usually this consists of manual spinal or neck adjustments ("cracking"), and will be followed by complementary treatments such as electro-stimulation, traction bed, table therapy or tissue massage.

Occurrence vs. Ongoing Therapy

In cases of injury, a specific course of treatments will be assigned and paid for, at least in part, by most insurance companies, although the patient may be responsible for co-pays, co-insurance, or deductibles, especially if they use an out-of-network provider. Once the course is over, no more therapy will be paid for by the company. Some people, however, have chronic pain issues which need ongoing therapy, and this is not always covered, as insurers would often refer the case to another medical practitioner for further analysis. Those who want or need such ongoing treatment should explore options like using their pre-tax medical spending accounts or discounted services from their provider.

How to Get Insurance to Pay

If the injury was caused by an auto accident, check into the med-pay coverage offered by the auto insurance of the at-fault driver or of your own insurance, as auto insurers have paid for chiropractic treatment for years as a matter of course in accidents. Speak to the primary care physician and have them give the insurer a document stipulating that chiropractic care is necessary in your case; also, make sure the provider is in-network, to keep costs down. Should the insurer initially dismiss the claims, keep requesting, as these companies are often reactive, responding to persistence and often giving in after receiving claim after claim, letter after letter.

Chiropractic insurance coverage is not yet mandatory, but there is a chance it will become so, at least to a certain degree, with the further implementation of U.S. health care reform policies. This kind of care is of the kind that provides excellent physical and mental benefits to its recipients, at a comparatively low cost to insurers over other, more mainstream therapies.