Healthcare in the United States is dominated by the culture of conventional Western medicine. And health insurance targets those who control the industry: doctors and hospitals. There is a long history of prejudice against chiropractic by physicians, which is one of the reasons that chiropractic care is not often covered by health insurance.
Many studies have shown that chiropractic care is beneficial and more cost-effective in treating lower back pain and other common musculoskeletal conditions than traditional Western medicine. Chiropractic also reduces health care costs by focusing on both prevention and treatment.
It is surprising that health insurance companies choose not to cover treatments that are as beneficial and cost-effective as chiropractic care. Studies have consistently shown that individuals who regularly seek chiropractor care are healthier and generally spend less on health care than those who do not.
Chiropractic care and consumers
Unsurprisingly, consumers are wise enough to recognize the benefits of chiropractic care. Many people prefer a chiropractor simply because they see tangible benefits from the care they receive. Many others are disillusioned with traditional Western medicine and the healthcare system and are looking for alternatives such as chiropractic care.
It is clear from both patient testimonials and clinical research that consumers benefit from chiropractic care. Unfortunately, they may have difficulty paying for chiropractic care, as it is often excluded from health insurance plans.
Health savings accounts can help consumers afford chiropractic care, even if it’s excluded from their health insurance plan. They can pay for chiropractic care and other alternative medicine with pre-tax dollars by using a health savings account.
Many chiropractors are keeping their costs as low as possible to make chiropractic care more accessible to consumers. However, they can only bear a limited part of the costs of providing that care. Another way chiropractors can help clients access chiropractic care is by encouraging the use of health savings accounts.
Health savings accounts and consumer choice
The combination of a Health Savings Account and a High Deductible Health Insurance plan should encourage individuals to become thoughtful, sensible consumers of health care. The individual spends more of her own money on health care, so she will be more concerned about how that money is spent.
Health savings accounts give consumers more choice in how their healthcare money is spent. Money in the HSA must be spent on approved medical expenses, but there are really very few restrictions on what kind of health care you choose. More and more chiropractic patients are discovering that having an HSA saves them money on their medical costs.
Traditional health insurance has gatekeepers and controls. Even when chiropractic care is covered (not typical for individual plans), the person requesting chiropractic care may need to go to their primary care physician (or gatekeeper) and get a referral. Not all doctors will refer chiropractors. If chiropractic care is covered by the health insurance plan and if you can get a referral (which amounts to permission to see the chiropractor), there may be limits to the number and types of treatments you can receive.
Using a Health Savings Account to pay for chiropractic care gives you more choice as a consumer. You can choose what type of medical treatment you receive, where you receive that treatment and how many treatments you receive. You can also spend HSA dollars on preventive care and even have the government give you a tax deduction to help keep your family healthy.