Do I Need a Referral to See a Chiropractor?
If you are experiencing pain due to an injury, sedentary lifestyle (such as sitting at a desk all day), or even a physical condition like sciatica or fibromyalgia, it may be beneficial for you to seek chiropractic care. Registered chiropractors in Ontario can be found all over the map, and like any new doctor, you may want to do some research to find the one that you connect with best. But do you need a referral to see a chiropractor? If you are in Ontario, the short answer is no! But there are a few things you should know before you go.
Seeking Chiropractic Care in Mississauga
Registered chiropractors in Ontario can be booked directly by a patient. If you are experiencing pain, stiffness, or general joint and muscle discomfort, and want to understand what non-surgical or medicinal options are available, going to a chiropractor is a great first step. The absence of a referral can save you the time and energy of booking an appointment with your general practitioner first, and then having to go through the process of waiting for the referred chiropractic clinic to give you a call and schedule an appointment. Especially if the matter is urgent, you likely do not want to be waiting days or weeks for an appointment. Dr. Lanoue may be able to see you quickly and start the diagnosis process.
Insurance Coverage for Chiropractic Services
One potential roadblock some patients have experienced is their insurance coverage for chiropractic visits. Many people have medical insurance plans through their companies, which will cover chiropractic costs (or at least a certain percentage) through extended healthcare plans. Some of these plans will only cover care if the patient obtains a referral from their doctor. This is completely legal and it is up to the employer's discretion as to what gets covered, how much is covered, and the conditions that need to be met for reimbursement to be considered. Check your health plan coverage and conditions with your employer.
Because chiropractic care is lumped in with other services such as massage therapy and physical therapy, some companies began requiring these services to have physician referrals due to the sharp increase in employees claiming services like relaxation massages. Generally, companies are creating these barriers to make sure that they are able to control the cost of medical insurance plans and ensure that employees who need these services are able to continue receiving them.
How to Approach the Topic of Insurance with your Employer
If you are currently under the restriction of needing a referral in order to have chiropractic care covered under your employer's insurance plan and are able to request changes to your insurance coverage at work, there are a couple of great points you can offer to make your argument.
First, requiring medical referrals for chiropractic care puts a strain on overworked physicians, as well as the provincial health care system. Then, in case your employer is looking for benefits for the company, you can let them know that chiropractic care can play an important role in keeping employees healthy and productive. A cost-effective health care service like chiropractic care can aid employees in dealing with conditions or injuries that can even save them from costly medications and/or surgeries down the road. Read more about extended health care plans and referrals on the Ontario Chiropractic Association's website here.
Think chiropractic treatment may be right for you? Contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lanoue, chiropractor in Mississauga!
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