Chronic pain is a burden that millions of Americans live with every single day, and there can be a variety of causes: genetics, a workplace injury, or a car accident.
While acute and chronic pain can be extremely frustrating, many individuals are able to find pain relief and an overall improvement in their well-being from regular chiropractic adjustments. But, how do you know what to expect in regard to treatment cost or whether your insurance provider will cover it
Here’s everything you need to know about chiropractic treatment, average costs and the factors that affect price.
Treatment Plans are Customized to Your Needs
You can either receive a referral for chiropractic treatment from your primary care provider or be self-referred.
As a new patient, your first visit to the chiropractic office will be for an initial consultation. The chiropractor will then recommend a treatment plan that is customized to your needs and goals. That treatment plan is designed to address what you’re hoping to accomplish with chiropractic care and help you reach those health goals.
A chiropractor may also give recommendations for exercises or nutritional advice that will help support their treatments. As your treatment progresses, your chiropractor may adjust your treatment plan for your follow-up appointments, depending on your level of improvement.
Will Insurance Cover a Chiropractic Visit?
The cost of chiropractic care depends on your insurance coverage. If you have health insurance, check with your provider to see if the plan will cover chiropractic care and if you will be responsible for a co-pay. Your chiropractor’s office may be able to help you understand the details of how much your treatment will cost, too.
Health insurance can cover some or all of the costs for chiropractic care if you are being treated for back pain, neck pain, or other musculoskeletal conditions that are covered by the policy. Some policies specifically exclude coverage for chiropractic care, but many do not.
If you’re enrolled in Medicaid, chiropractic care is only covered in certain states. If your healthcare coverage is through Medicare, chiropractic care is covered if it is deemed “medically necessary,” but additional tests, such as x-rays, are not covered.
Chiropractic Care: A Cost-Effective Treatment Strategy
Chiropractic care is very cost-effective and is often much less expensive than medical or surgical treatments. It also offers a number of other benefits:
- Chiropractic care is safer than surgery. You don’t have to worry about experiencing the potential side effects from surgery, such as excessive bleeding, infections, reactions to anesthesia, nausea and vomiting, and additional drug use.
- Chiropractic care can be more effective than pain medications for relieving pain-related problems and providing longer lasting relief. Plus, some medications can present serious health risks and you may not want to use prescription drugs for pain relief.
- Chiropractic care often costs less than physical therapy sessions or massage therapy sessions over time, especially when you have insurance coverage that can be used toward chiropractic costs.
Insurance Coverage May Vary
Not all chiropractors are in network with all insurance companies. Just like other medical practitioners, chiropractors do not necessarily accept all insurance plans. As a result, you will want to call and ask about your specific policy.
Chiropractors may be considered “out of network” with some insurance companies because the cost associated with becoming in-network can be steep (and many times the price difference is not worth it for the chiropractor).
However, if a chiropractor has chosen to be in-network with an insurer, it means they have agreed upon a fixed amount to be paid by that insurer per visit or service. This means that you, as a patient, will pay less out of pocket if your doctor is in-network.
Insurance Policies Can Be Confusing
Insurance policies can be confusing and difficult to understand – it’s easy to get lost in the jargon concerning health coverage. We recommend speaking with your insurance company directly to find out exactly what is and isn’t covered – it can’t hurt!
Can You Go To An Out-of-Network Chiropractor?
You can absolutely schedule appointments with an out-of-network chiropractor. While this option can initially be more expensive, you might be able to apply for reimbursement from your insurance company. Remember though, you’ll have to pay the full cost upfront and you might have to pay a higher deductible before your insurer will cover any of the costs.
When going the “in-network” route, most insurance plans cover the cost of a few chiropractic sessions, but it’s best to confirm that this service is available under your specific insurance plan. The best way to do this is to read the fine print in the benefits section of your policy or contact a representative at your health insurance company directly.
Once you’ve established that you can use your health insurance for chiropractic services, it’s time to determine whether or not there are any in-network providers. Going out-of-network for any medical service can be more expensive and getting reimbursed for these services may take longer than if you had used an in-network provider from the start.
The Cost of Chiropractic Treatment
According to the most recent figures, the average cost of a single session of chiropractic treatment is $65. This figure can vary widely depending on where in the United States you reside, and can be as low as $30 and as high as $100. New patients can expect to pay more for their first treatment, as this cost includes the price of the initial wellness evaluation, too.
Depending on how well you respond to chiropractic treatment (or the opinion of the chiropractor), he or she may recommend you for additional modalities of treatment, such as acupuncture or massage therapy. These services will cost extra and may or may not be covered by your insurance provider.
You Can Have Drug-Free Pain Relief
If pain is ruling your life, it’s time to seek treatment. Contact Meridian HealthCare today and learn more about our chiropractic services and how they can get you on the path to living pain-free.