Health insurance is something everyone should have—an insurance policy is in place to help pay for things like doctor visits and medical bills. But because not all insurance policies are the same, there are a few coverage options that can vary depending on the policy. Pain treatment is one medical feature that people often question whether or not it’s covered by insurance. So let’s take a closer look at the relationship between pain treatment and insurance.
Am I Covered?
Insurance policies have come a long way in offering coverage for pain treatment. While it can vary from policy to policy, most insurance providers offer coverage for treatments like medication, physical therapy, surgery, and injections. Coverage is usually highest for common ailments, like back pain. According to a 2017 cross-sectional study that explored insurance coverage for chronic low back pain across 16 states, 98 percent of plans covered physical therapy, 89 percent of plans covered chiropractic care, and 96 percent of plans covered occupational therapy. Most plans covered standard pain treatment while 67 percent of plans didn’t offer coverage for acupuncture. So while it depends on the insurance provider, most policyholders will have basic coverage for pain treatment.
Common Obstacles Patients Face
While many insurance policies do cover a wide variety of pain treatment options, there are still obstacles patients may face. Oftentimes, insurance will only cover part of pain treatment, leaving patients with tremendous medical bills to pay themselves. Some policies may only cover certain medications or a limited number of physical therapy sessions. Additionally, patients may find that they have to take extra steps to have their treatment covered, like trying other treatment options before being approved for the one they really need or waiting for a certain amount of time before trying a new medication. And like previously stated, many insurance policies don’t cover non-traditional pain treatment, like acupuncture or massage therapy.
If patients want to explore pain treatment options outside of standard treatments, they may not have insurance coverage. Even so, exploring pain treatment options like Pulsed Harmonix PEMF devices can still be extremely beneficial—PEMF therapy is a non-invasive pain treatment option that utilizes electromagnetic waves to help manage pain and heal the body. For people who are looking to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and improve mobility, exploring tools like PEMF devices could provide the necessary relief. And while insurance may or may not cover a device like this, investing in tools and devices could end up being less expensive than continuing physical therapy or doctor visits.
Tips for Those Seeking Pain Treatment
Because insurance doesn’t always cover pain treatment (especially if it’s long-term) it’s important to know how to navigate your care. First, it’s crucial to keep records and documents from any medical visit—denial from an insurance company can often come from not having the right documents. Additionally, it’s important for policyholders to have a thorough understanding of what their insurance plan covers. Many insurance companies will offer coverage but will require a referral from a doctor or some sort of pre-authorization. Knowing these details can help avoid unnecessary expenses.
It may also be beneficial for patients seeking pain treatment to explore temporary insurance coverage. For example, if someone is experiencing dental issues and their policy doesn’t cover the treatment they need, they could look into short term dental insurance. Instead of battling with insurance companies and ending up paying thousands of dollars for the treatment anyways, patients can pay for short term insurance—this will allow them to get the treatment they need without breaking the bank. Patients should always explore other insurance options before giving in.
Health insurance can be complicated, especially when it comes to pain treatment. But hopefully, this information is helpful and you can navigate your policy and get the pain treatment you need.