The cost of a chiropractic visit without insurance is an average of $45. Most chiropractic visits are paid privately with prices ranging from $30 to hundreds of dollars per appointment depending on the type of treatment and where you live.
Chiropractic care was been recognized worldwide as a medical therapy to prevent and treat various health conditions. A chiropractic doctor can diagnose various ailments in the neuromusculoskeletal system which includes bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and other related anatomy of the human body.
The ACA (American Chiropractic Association) reports that the yearly number of chiropractic patients in the United States is approximately 35 million adults and children. Whether you are addressing a current condition or want to receive preventative care, you might be wondering how much the cost of a chiropractic visit can be without insurance.
Continue reading to find out more about chiropractic care and what you can expect to pay with and without insurance.
Is Chiropractic Care Covered by Insurance?
Chiropractic care is indeed covered by most insurance companies in the United States. For years, chiropractors have been classified as practitioners recognized by most insurance policies. This is because more clinical research has been published about the benefits of maintaining a healthy spine and the role a chiropractor plays in achieving that. Although most insurance companies cover chiropractic care, there are still some costs patients are responsible for paying.
As published by NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), the spine houses nerves that connect to muscles and organs all over the body. It serves as the central headquarters for all physiological functions. The health and alignment of the spine can affect all of your physiology from digestion to immune function and much more.
The delicate spinal cord that connects to the brain and all other organs is protected by the vertebra that makes up the spine. When the spine is out of alignment, it produces symptoms that can create disease in all body systems. Maintaining proper spinal alignment lays the foundation for overall health. Chiropractic care goes far beyond cracking your back to loosen up and feel relaxed. It is a medical practice that links structural composition with optimal physiology.
As you can see, chiropractic care plays a major role in staying healthy. This is why it is puzzling that most insurance companies cover a minimal amount. If you don’t have insurance, you may find that chiropractic care is still financially feasible for you. Generally, chiropractic visits are paid privately without the use of insurance.
In the United States, the cost of an initial consultation can be anywhere from $30 to $200. The number varies on the patient’s health condition, the treatment plan prescribed, and the city where the chiropractor is located. On average, patients can expect to pay $45 per visit.
The Cost Breakdown of Chiropractic Care WITHOUT Insurance Coverage
Chiropractors are able to use specific equipment and diagnostic tools that you will not find at a regular doctor’s office or with a physical therapist. After an initial consultation, your customized treatment plan may include a combination of the following treatments:
- RADIOGRAPHY: X-rays may cost between $50 to $150 for the average patient. They are frequently classified as “standard of care” on an initial evaluation by a chiropractor. X-rays allow chiropractors to visualize mechanical dysfunctions to accurately prescribe a treatment plan. It is important to receive x-rays especially if you have a history of injuries. It is not common practice for a chiropractor to perform adjustments without x-rays. It is a red flag if your chiropractor wants to do so.
- MRI SCANNING: MRI examinations may cost between $100 to $400 depending on the location of the practice. More serious problems and those not easily diagnosed by x-rays may require an MRI to further visualize the state of the spine and surrounding tissues. Unlike x-rays that only provide a visualization of the bones, an MRI will show soft tissues such as tendons, ligaments, spinal discs, etc.
- ADJUSTMENT TABLE: Chiropractors may perform adjustments on either the more expensive computerized tables or more economic manual adjustment tables. Modern tables provide chiropractors with more options and ease of use, however, traditional tables are still preferred by many practitioners. They are both effective and the quality of care depends mostly on the chiropractor’s skills, experience, and knowledge.
- ELECTROMYOGRAPHY: This diagnostic exam can cost an average of approximately $200. This assessment allows chiropractors to measure the electrical response after stimulating a muscle to detect neuromuscular abnormalities. The test utilizes tiny needles called electrodes that are inserted into the muscles through the skin.
- THERMOGRAPHY: For patients that want to avoid radiation from x-rays, as in the case of pregnant women, a thermograph may cost approximately $200 to $500. This noninvasive tool allows chiropractors to detect abnormalities with the use of an infrared camera that shows patterns of blood flow and heat.
- DIATHERMY: This medical technique can cost an average of $10 to $50. During the procedure, the part of the body being treated receives high-frequency electric currents that create heat and stimulate blood flow. The increase in circulation destroys unhealthy tissues to promote the generation of new ones. It is also effective for relieving pain and helps blood clots to form in tissue that is bleeding and needs to heal.
- HYDROTHERAPY: Various hydrotherapy treatments are provided that may range from $50 to $500. This innovative therapy involves a water bed with rotating jets that loosen up the whole back and neck. Patients remain dry while the pressurized jets provide relief of achy muscles and overall tension. It is often performed as a preparatory step before the spinal adjustment by the chiropractor is started.
- ULTRASOUND THERAPY: Each ultrasound session may cost an average of $20 to $25 depending on the condition and time it takes to treat a particular area. The therapy involves sound waves to treat various health conditions. This procedure is often a staple in chiropractic practices for its effectiveness and ease of use.
- COMPUTERIZED ADJUSTMENT: Similar to diathermy, a computerized adjustment is generally part of the overall cost of the treatment plan. As technological advances continue to evolve, chiropractors are now shifting to a gentle way to make spinal adjustments with precision. The process utilizes a computer that detects spinal fixations on the spine. It also combines a sigma instrument for a light oscillating tapping that gently adjusts the spine. This avoids the aggressive cracking and twisting that is associated with chiropractic care that some people may not like.
- CHIROPRACTIC ROLLER TABLES: Each chiropractor is unique and utilizes their favorite tools. As part of the general treatment plan, some chiropractors like using roller tables to relieve tension from spinal discs and loosen the whole body before performing the spinal adjustments. It results in more effective adjustments and greater patient comfort.
- LASER THERAPY: This type of treatment uses expensive equipment and is at least $200 for each session. Laser frequencies are used to relieve acute and chronic pain while stimulating the regeneration of tissues including nerves. The therapy also decreases inflammation and helps heal injuries. Athletes often use it as part of their recovery process.
- ELECTRICAL MUSCULAR STIMULATION: It is a fairly inexpensive treatment at an average of $20 per session. Chiropractors often use electrodes to transmit electrical pulses to targeted parts of the body. The stimulation blocks the transmission of pain signals received by the nervous system that travel through the spine to the brain. It results in a boost in the production of endorphins, which act as natural pain killers.
The Cost Breakdown of Chiropractic Care WITH Insurance Coverage
Generally, most insurance companies do not cover chiropractic visits. However, if the patient needs treatments over a long period of time, insurance companies will usually settle for a co-payment. With a comprehensive health insurance plan, it is very likely that you’ll only have to pay a co-payment of approximately $20 each time you visit the chiropractor for a spinal adjustment or other types of therapies.
Standard Health Insurance Providers that Cover Chiropractic Care
The NCCIH estimates Americans spend approximately $4 billion on chiropractic care every year. Although most insurance plans don’t cover all of the costs, most health insurance plans pay for at least some of the expenses.
The following are some of the standard health insurance providers that pay for chiropractic visits:
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield
- United Healthcare
You may check your local directory for a list of health insurance providers in your area.
I Don’t Have Insurance! How Much Should I Expect my Out-of-Pocket Costs to Be?
A recent survey published by Chiropractic Economics magazine reported that chiropractic visits may range from $34 to $106 according to your location in the country and how many diagnostic tests are necessary to properly treat your condition.
Without insurance, fees may raise to $80 to $220 per visit. New patients may have to pay an additional fee to cover their initial registration and assessment. Those that need x-rays will pay additional fees at an average of $44 to $159.
Can I See a Chiropractor if I Don’t Have Insurance Coverage?
You can certainly enjoy regular chiropractic care even if you don’t have insurance. No need to worry about maxing out your credit cards or taking out medical loans. Chiropractic care can be very affordable even without insurance. Some chiropractors don’t even take insurance at all and have in-house payment plans.
As a new chiropractic patient, you may pay anywhere from approximately $61 to $161 for an initial consultation. You will pay additional fees if you require further assessments such as x-rays and MRIs.
When are Costs Due for a Chiropractic Visit for People Without Insurance?
Typically, you must pay during your visit. However, some chiropractors have payment plans that allow you to pay installments at a later date. If you don’t have insurance, you are solely responsible for the costs, which means that it is up to you how fast you pay for your invoices. As a general rule of thumb, it is best to speak to the chiropractor’s administrative office and find out what options you have. As with other doctors, you will notice that each chiropractor uniquely runs their business, so there is no general guideline that applies.
What is the Cost of Chiropractic Care Per Session?
On average, a chiropractic session can cost approximately $45. This price varies according to your location and health condition. If you require diagnostics tests such as x-rays, you will pay additionally for those.
How Much Does a Chiropractic Spinal Adjustment Cost?
With insurance, a spinal adjustment may cost the price of the co-payment, which is usually as little as $20 per visit. Without insurance, a spinal adjustment may range from $30 and up depending on what your treatment plan requires and the location of the practice.
How Much Does a Full-Body Chiropractic Adjustment Cost?
Industry averages indicate that the cost of a full-body chiropractic adjustment is about $45 nationwide, however some regions report a number that reaches closer to $65. Depending on where you live, you can expect to pay $35 to $105 for each chiropractic visit.
How Much Does Chiropractic Care Cost With Insurance?
The cost of chiropractic care when you are covered by health insurance varies depending on the health insurance provider. The standard health insurance providers offer partial or full chiropractic care coverage. It is typical for insurance companies to only require a co-payment of about $20 per visit.
How Much Does Chiropractic Care Cost in California?
In California, chiropractic patients can expect to pay approximately $100 and $150 for a chiropractic visit. This is an average price, however, some practices offer visits for as little as $60 in certain locations and as much as $200 in others. The prices above cover both the full initial exam and first adjustments.
How Much Does Chiropractic Care Cost in Texas?
Online reports suggest that chiropractic patients in Texas may pay a range between $35 to $105 depending on the city. Urban areas are less expensive because of the number of practitioners available. Since big cities have lots of competitions, chiropractors lower their prices to stay competitive.