Several stories have surfaced where chiropractic care is being included in health care plans in an effort to drive down the overall cost of health care. In one story from the February 22, 2005 Business Wire, California Assemblyman Paul Koretz (right) introduced legislation designed to reduce skyrocketing health care costs by including chiropractic as a mandatory benefit. The report notes that the bill, AB 1185, was prompted by a new study reporting that health care spending soaks up 24% of the growth in the economy. Another recent study showed that adding chiropractic care to an insurance plan actually helps lower the costs of the plan.
California Senator Elaine Alquist is also in support of this concept and added, “Everyone who must grapple with the astronomical costs of health care — insurers, patients, employers, and the government — will benefit from wider access to chiropractic care, which can provide proven cost savings to the health care system.”
California is not the only place where the trend of including chiropractic to save money has caught on. As reported in another Business Wire report on March 3, 2005, American Specialty Health (ASH), a leading complementary health care organization, is debuting new health plan coverage that allows employers in the state of Virginia to offer low-cost insurance benefits for complementary health care including chiropractic.
The offering makes good business sense. The report notes that according to George Devries, president and CEO of American Specialty Health, a new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that employees with chiropractic insurance coverage had 41 percent fewer hospitalizations for back pain than employees without chiropractic coverage. Employees with chiropractic coverage also had 32 percent fewer back surgeries and significantly lower utilization rates for expensive procedures such as CT and MRI scans as well as X-rays when compared with employees without chiropractic insurance. “With the growing consumer demand for complementary health care and employers’ increasing needs for cost-effective health coverages, our company is stepping in to meet a need that is often unfulfilled by mainstream insurers,” said Devries. “As a result, coverage is becoming easier for employees to get.”