The chiropractor cost is surprisingly affordable, compared to some medical interventions and surgery, and chiropractor insurance coverage is available through many insurers.
How Much for a Chiropractor?
Chiropractors charge variable rates depending on services offered, exams, location, insurance, and sliding fees. The average cost of a chiropractic adjustment is about $65, although sessions can have a price range of $34 to about $106. In the South, costs average higher ($70/session), but the Midwest tends to have a lower average cost ($60/session). The first session generally costs more, due to health consultations and possible x-rays. In general, the chiropractic fees cover the vertebral adjustment. The number, frequency, and length of sessions depend on the patient. Additional services may cost more, including x-rays, acupuncture (average $65/visit, with the initial session costing more), massage therapy (average $42/session), or other therapies.1 Other therapies might include ultrasound therapy, cold laser treatment, a roller table session, and more.2
Does Insurance Cover Chiropractic?
Patients often ask, “Does my insurance cover chiropractors?”, “will my insurance cover my chiropractor visit?”, and “what is my copay for chiropractic care?” According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractic care is a “deductible medical expense”, and some degree of chiropractic treatment is covered by most health insurance. Insurance coverage for chiropractic care varies. Many chiropractic offices offer payment plans and accept insurance. While insurance may be an affordable option for many patients, chiropractors who offer cash-only services generally cost less on average ($57/visit). In addition, single practice chiropractors also charge less than medical group doctors.3 Even if the insurance company denies the chiropractic treatment initially, it is possible that a medical doctor can make a referral stating a requirement for chiropractic treatment. Financing plans are also available in many offices.4
Does Chiropractic Work?
A study showed that low back pain can be treated cost-effectively by chiropractic. In a study of patients with lower back pain, it was found that “chiropractic saves 40 percent on health care costs when compared with care initiated through a medical doctor”. Insurance companies that choose not to cover this kind of therapy for low back pain may end up paying more for treatment. With lower back pain affecting “up to 85% of Americans…at some point”, this cost savings would be significant.5 Furthermore, patients receiving care from a chiropractor are “less likely to undergo lumbar surgery”. A chiropractor treats the underlying condition instead of resorting to surgical and other invasive methods. A recent study found that, over the course of a year, CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) costs were “$424 lower for spine-related costs, and $796 lower for total health care cost than among non-CAM users”. Considering the many disabled and chronically ill patients, and rising healthcare costs, it is important to examine conservative treatment options, “before moving on to less conservative options or unnecessary drugs and surgery”.6
Learn more about the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare and chiropractic.