RI chiropractors launch petition drive for covered chiropractic care

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains “any willing provider” language that requires health insurance carriers to allow health care providers to become members of the carriers’ networks providers if certain conditions are met. The Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island believes insurance companies are not living up to that part of the ACA as it pertains to chiropractic and have launched a petition drive requesting the Rhode Island Health Commissioner, Dr. Kathleen Hittner, to enforce the law.

While many Rhode Island insurance carriers offer coverage for chiropractic, it often comes with limitations—e.g. 12 visits per year. In addition, co-pays for chiropractic treatment are often the same or more than the out-of-pocket cost. And Medicaid offers no chiropractic coverage at all.

“All three of these scenarios prevent many Rhode Islanders from seeking chiropractic care, both as a preventative measure and when they are in pain,” said Dr. Michael Gottfried, president of the Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island and chiropractic physician at Aquidneck Chiropractic in Middletown, Rhode Island. “Current coverages provided by Rhode Island insurance companies essentially discourage people from getting the care they need.”

Dr. Gottfried notes that many patients go to see a chiropractor when they are in pain or distress. Often times, their condition requires multiple visits within a short period to a get a situation under control and maintenance adjustments once the condition stabilizes. Yet many coverages will only allow 12 visits per year to the chiropractor, the equivalent of one per month.

Phantom co-pays can also make it cost prohibitive for patients to seek chiropractic treatment. A phantom co-pay is when the co-payment made by patients with insurance is the same as the cost without insurance.

“Chiropractic has proven to be a benefit to seniors in terms of wellness. With no coverage provided by Medicaid, it’s an out-of-pocket expense many will choose not to make,” said Dr. Gottfried. “By signing this petition, Rhode Islanders can send a clear message that chiropractic care without restrictions on visits and phantom co-pays should be available to all residents.”

To sign the petition, Rhode Islanders can to the Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island’s website at www.richiro.org.

About Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island (CSRI)

Founded in 1918, CSRI is one of the oldest chiropractic associations in the United States and represents almost half of the chiropractic physicians in the Ocean State. In addition to providing a regional voice for chiropractors in the business and legislative arenas, CSRI also helps educate the general public on the benefits of chiropractic. Those all-natural benefits can include relief from headaches, asthma, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel, colic, and stress, just to name a few. The Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island is located at 1272 West Main Road, Building 2, Middletown, RI 02842. For more information, call (401) 207-0700 or visit www.RIchiro.org.

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