How to Save Money on Alternative Medicine Treatments
If you seek out alternative medicine treatments, the cost might not be covered by your insurance company. Americans spend about $30 billion out of pocket every year on complementary health approaches like chiropractors, acupuncturists, and naturopathy.
Although this only comprises around 1% of US healthcare spending, the out-of-pocket costs are substantial, so it’s important to determine which treatments are worth your investment.
Chiropractors treat musculoskeletal and nervous system disorders, which can impact the rest of your body. They are skilled at a broad range of therapies with a focus on wellness and movement. Based on the widespread popularity of these treatments, it’s clear that they are beneficial for many patients.
Misalignments can show up as pain in your neck, lower back or as digestive issues as the nerves branch away to various organ systems. Chiropractors make adjustments to increase joint movement and relax muscles. Research indicates that treatment is most effective at alleviating back pain.
Seek out a state licensed chiropractor who has attended four years of postgraduate training at an accredited chiropractic college. Start by searching Google for “chiropractor near me.” You can limit out of pocket costs by setting aside tax-free dollars in a health savings account. Many insurance companies, including Medicare Part B, will cover medically necessary spinal manipulation for the first 15-25 visits.
The ancient practice of acupuncture directs your body energy, or chi, by inserting thin needles into the skin. By stimulating one of 350 acupuncture points, a practitioner can restore proper energy flow through the pathways of the human body. In strictly scientific terms, acupuncture also increases endorphins which can lower the sensation of pain. It’s helpful for headaches and lower back, neck, and knee pain. Look for a state license and a certificate from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Insurance companies will frequently cover the first 12-20 visits per year, but only when the appointment results in a diagnosis of a specific condition, like a migraine. Alternatively, your insurance company may have pre-negotiated discounted rates with certain providers.
Biofeedback can be used to gain mastery over normally involuntary body functions. It is a non-invasive technique in which patients learn to control bodily processes that are normally involuntary, such as muscle tension, blood pressure, or heart rate. Sensors measure signs of stress, while a therapist uses exercises to improve your symptoms. Relaxation techniques generally help with stress-related issues like hypertension and chronic pain. Seek out a therapist certified by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance. Insurance companies will sometimes cover a limited number of visits per year, but only when the appointment results in a diagnosis of a specific condition, like fibromyalgia.
Practitioners believe that the human body can heal itself with the right assistance. Naturopathic medicine treats and prevents disease through diet, exercise, massage, and herbs to help the body heal. It embraces the complementary therapies of chiropractic, nutrition, and acupuncture.
Naturopathic medicine emphasizes prevention, treatment, and optimal health – getting to the cause of a disease rather than treating symptoms. It’s known to be good for treating lower back and chronic pain. Look for a licensed Naturopathic Physician who has finished a four-year program at an accredited school. Insurance in five states covers treatments, and a few private insurance companies cover it as well, but Medicaid only covers it in three states.
Research your insurance coverage
Alternative medicine treatments can be very effective, but insurers don’t often cover the cost, so the cost comes out of pocket for most Americans. Research your coverage carefully so you can seek reimbursement for some visits, especially with a distinct diagnosis. You can use a health care savings account to set aside pre-tax dollars.