Iowans who go to a chiropractor may be seeing a reduction in the “co-pay” they’re required to submit for the office visit. State-regulated insurance plans are to charge the same co-pay for visits to the doctor and to the chiropractor. That change went into effect on July 1st.
Iowa Chiropractic Society executive director Dan Garrett says it’s good news for patients. “Their visit was often as much as their co-pay,” Garrett says. “so the chiropractic benefit ended up being a ‘phantom’ benefit.”
While the patient’s insurance plan said it covered chiropractic care, Garrett says the required co-pay often was as much as the entire visit. “If you go to visit your chiropractor and let’s say you have maybe one or two procedures done, the total cost of that visit might be in the $50-75 range — depending on what they’re having done,”Garrett says.
“So if you’re facing a $50 co-payment — what’s the point? So the patients were growling that their co-pays were exceeding the cost of the visit or coming darned near close to it.”
The Iowa legislature and the governor endorsed this new policy for co-pays at the chiropractors this spring, but it only applies to insurance plans regulated by the state which cover about 30% of Iowans who have insurance. About 70% of Iowans are covered by group plans regulated by federal rules.