Your Benefits Plan Should Always Meet Your Health Needs…Otherwise, what’s the “benefit”???
Every year, Ontario businesses make decisions about what kind of health care coverage they can afford. Each organization determines its own priorities and needs based on their budget. Just because the economy has changed, does not mean our health care needs have changed, yet many people found their coverage to go down.
Consider these facts:
Low back pain affects 84% of the working population; second only to the common cold as a cause of lost work time. Health Canada estimated that musculoskeletal disorders (including back pain) cost society $16.4 billion in direct (treatment and rehabilitation) and indirect (lost productivity) costs.
Several reports have concluded that increased utilization of chiropractic care can reduce health care costs and help improve productivity. Patients treated by a chiropractor for back pain returned to work sooner and had reduced rates of chronic problems, hospitalization and reduced the need for prescription drugs.
Despite the evidence, many benefits plans provide very limited coverage for services performed by a chiropractor. In order to see a change, as a patient and plan member, you need to talk with your employer and/or union to make them aware that chiropractic care is important to you and your insurance coverage.
How can you make a difference??
Let your employer know how important chiropractic care is to you.When it comes to prioritizing what is and isn’t covered under extended health plans, most companies have one common goal: to meet the needs of plan members. If you don’t tell them what is important to you, they won’t know. It’s important for you to talk to your employer and/or union about chiropractic care and your insurance coverage. Feel free to share this information sheet with your human resources department, manager or union representative to help start the conversation. People will complain about how terrible their coverage is, but the odds that they haven’t said anything are high.
Make sure everyone has the facts. There have been many studies done that demonstrate the benefits of chiropractic care, much of it available on the Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA) OCA website.
Chiropractic care helps patients, companies and Ontario’s health care system as a whole, all at the same time – your health contributes to a healthy bottom line for your organization and the entire province.
For additional information, the Ontario Chiropractic Association’swebsite has much more information available regarding chiropractic care and Extended Health Care plans, written specifically for plan sponsors, patients, health insurers and other stakeholders.
Cost of care for common back pain conditions Initiated with chiropractic doctor vs medical Doctor/doctor of osteopathy as first physician: Experience of one Tennessee-based general health insurer (November, 2010)
Dr. Danielle Marr
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