Whether you are looking for the best chiropractic care or want to know the advantages of getting insurance for chiropractic services, there are a few things you need to know.
Managed Care Plans
Almost 70 million workers in the United States receive health insurance through employer-sponsored health benefits. One of the main sources of coverage for chiropractic services is these plans. However, some challenges exist for managed care plan managers, especially those with nontraditional medical providers.
The specifics of how managed care plans like BCBS covers chiropractic services vary from plan to plan. For example, some plans require a referral from a medical physician gatekeeper. Others stipulate a dollar limit on reimbursements for chiropractic visits.
Some plans specify that chiropractic benefits are only for spinal manipulation or body massage. These are less generous than the benefits of medical physician visits.
Some plans impose separate deductibles and coinsurance rates for chiropractic visits. HMOs are the least likely to impose these limitations. But they do so most often through a separate deductible.
Among workers with employer-sponsored health benefits, chiropractic coverage was the most common. More than 75 percent of these workers received chiropractic benefits.
But nearly 700,000 workers needed this type of coverage. Some of these workers needed clarification about their status. The data were derived from a survey of more than 1,953 employers nationwide.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Whether you have already signed up for Original Medicare or you are considering a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be wondering how the plan can help you with chiropractic care. Medicare will cover chiropractic visits if they are ordered by your primary care physician. However, it will not cover the costs of X-rays or massage therapy ordered by the chiropractor.
The chiropractic treatment plan you submit to Medicare must include the date of your initial visit, the frequency of visits, and the results of the treatments. It should also include the objective measures used to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment.
Chiropractic treatments are non-surgical and drug-free, which means that they can be a helpful alternative to pain medications. Medicare benefits will pay up to 80% of the cost of medically necessary chiropractic care.
Chiropractors usually provide treatment to the back, neck, and other joints. They may also work with a local physician to provide pain management care.
Costs of Chiropractic Care
Generally speaking, the costs of chiropractic care with BCBS are lower than with other healthcare plans. There are a variety of different plans that cover chiropractic care, and each plan is different. Ask your insurance provider to find out if your plan covers chiropractic care. If not, you may have to pay out of pocket.
Some health insurance plans have limits on the number of visits or the amount of coverage. Some chiropractors may offer discounts if you pay upfront. Some plans may also have a fixed rate for visits. Some plans may also limit the number of visits you can receive each year.
One study compared the care costs of chiropractic patients to that of medical doctors. The study looked at the costs billed by HCPs, as well as the costs allowed by health plans.
The study found that chiropractic care had a small, positive effect on health care costs. Chiropractic care reduced the cost of hospital days by 59 percent, outpatient surgeries by 62 percent, and pharmaceutical costs by 85 percent. The study also found that chiropractic care was associated with lower costs for patients with spine pain.