The primary care physician is not always the first stop when it comes to feeling better. Many patients prefer to seek the alternative care of a chiropractor.
While not all ailments are solved through chiropractic adjustments, policyholders like having the option of deciding which type of care to choose. The good thing is that health insurance plans are improving in the fact that many of them provide coverage for chiropractic care. Unfortunately, however, the number of visits are limited.
When seeking insurance coverage for chiropractic care, there are a few things one can do to ensure optimum coverage or reimbursement.
Discuss Insurance Coverage with the Chiropractor
Chiropractors are intimately familiar with how insurance companies respond to and pay for care. Anyone in a position to choose between health insurance plans should speak to a chiropractor before making the decision. Unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to pick and choose a health care provider based on a chiropractic recommendation.
Review the Current Health Insurance Plan
Understand the health insurance company’s position on chiropractic care. Some insurance companies only allow a certain number of chiropractic visits once referred by the Primary Care Physician. While having some coverage is better than none, many insurance companies do not cover the cost of the full extent of chiropractic care.
Care seekers should become familiar with the existing health insurance plan to get the most out of chiropractic coverage. It may require reviewing the policy in addition to contacting an insurance company representative (make sure to clearly document and confirm, in writing, any additional information gleaned by talking to an insurance representative).
Seek Supplemental Chiropractic Coverage.
To supplement the health insurance coverage, patients should use the pre tax flexible spending account offered by many employers. The combination of health insurance coverage in addition to pre-tax employer-sponsored saving plan might be enough to cover the cost of a year’s worth of chiropractic care.
Another insurance alternative is to find supplementary health insurance coverage. According to the Ontario Chiropractic Association, some Canadian employers and associations provide company-sponsored Extended Health Care plans which include coverage for chiropractic care.
US citizens may opt for UCAFF agreements. UCAFF is an acronym for unlimited care at a fixed fee. In essence, the chiropractor and the patient agree to a monthly fee for which the patient receives unlimited chiropractic adjustments. Technically, UCAFF agreements are not insurance contracts, but some states view them the same way as they do a health insurance plan and regulate them accordingly. Be aware that not all chiropractors offer such agreements.
Fortuitous Insurance Coverage for Chiropractic Care
Auto accident victims can receive chiropractic care as provided under the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage of an auto insurance policy. If the accident occurs in a no-fault state, PIP will pay for immediate medical needs for both the driver and injured passengers. A recent Colorado study showed that 58% of the charges for medical treatment as a result of a no-fault insurance claim was for chiropractic care as opposed to only 19% for physician care.