Private health insurance for chiropractic care
If you've been struggling with lower back, neck or shoulder pain, you may have been considering seeing a chiropractor to get the problem sorted out once and for all.
While a chiropractor can improve your quality of life spinal health, it's not always the cheapest option and can often leave you with a host of questions about the best way to pay for it.
Below, we've aimed to answer all of those questions and more so that you're armed with all the information you need to know about chiropractic cover.
Visiting a chiropractor can help alleviate back and neck pain, but may cost as much as $95 per session*.
Medicare typically doesn’t cover chiropractic care unless you’re on the Chronic Disease Management program.
Fortunately, extras health insurance policies can help reduce these costs for you.
When do you need to see a chiropractor?
Your doctor may refer you to a chiropractor (or you may self-refer) if you have significant back or neck pain that is affecting your quality of life.
This could be as the result of an injury or a long-term condition such as arthritis.
It may even be that there's no known cause for your pain, but the resulting discomfort, distress, headaches, and mobility issues have a damaging effect on your quality of life - including affecting your ability to work.
What should you expect when you visit the chiropractor?
When you first visit your chiropractor, they'll have a consultation session in which they'll work to determine the cause of your problems.
They'll do this by looking at several key factors such as:
Your musculoskeletal condition
Your nervous system
Your blood pressure and breathing rate
Your medical history
In some cases, they may even order an X-Ray to get a better idea about what's troubling you.
From there, your chiropractor will design a course of treatment that typically involves making adjustments to your spine to fix the problem and alleviate your symptoms.
You may feel soreness in the first few days after a spinal adjustment, but this will eventually settle down.
How much does chiropractic health care cost?
The cost of chiropractic therapy can vary from state to state and even from chiropractor to chiropractor.
As a general rule, though, you could expect to pay between $60 - $95* per session.
If you have multiple sessions (which is usually how this type of treatment works), this can soon add up. Fortunately, there are several ways to significantly reduce your out-of-pocket expenses for chiropractic treatment, which we'll discuss below.
Are chiropractic costs covered by Medicare?
Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t generally provide rebates for chiropractic care, especially if your pain is a recent issue.
That said, you may be eligible to get on a GP Management Plan if your pain is a result of a chronic or terminal medical condition that you've had for six months or more.
In this case, you'll be able to receive five free visits to a chiropractor under the Chronic Disease Management (CDM) plan.
Is chiropractic care covered by private health insurance?
The good news is that while you can’t get Medicare rebates for chiropractic services, you can get chiropractic cover with your private health fund. Chiropractic care is usually included in your extras policy.
Some policies may only cover a percentage of your bills, or your policy could have a total annual limit you can claim. Spreading your claims out over a series of treatment sessions may offer you the best value here.
You may also have annual claim limits, meaning you can only claim up to a certain amount of money on chiropractic visits each year.
Knowing which sort of treatment best suits you medically - and financially is where you’ll find some savings.
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Is seeing a chiropractor worth it?
Though the cost of visiting a chiropractor may not be cheap, it's quite often worth it as it can prove to be a more affordable, long-term solution to back and neck pain than traditional surgical procedures.
Chiropractic treatments can also help to alleviate many of the symptoms of poor posture and spinal issues, such as headaches, period pains and cramps, and sciatica.
Do you need a referral to visit a chiropractor?
Although your doctor can refer you, this isn't necessary. Y
How long are waiting periods to claim chiropractic services?
Health insurance waiting periods for chiropractic care are the same as they are for most claims - generally 2 months.
That said, it’s possible to find a health insurer who waives waiting periods, allowing you to claim as soon as you need to.
Are there any gap fees associated with chiropractic treatments?
Even if your private health insurance covers your chiropractor visits, you may still be left with some gap fees.
This is because, in most cases, a private health insurer will only agree to cover a percentage of your bill. For example, if your chiropractor charges $100 per session, you may be able to claim 70% of that insurance and pay the remaining $30 yourself. Find out more in our Guide to Extras.
How to find a policy that covers chiropractic care
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