This question used to always make us squirm: "Do you take insurance?" When I said, "no," I worried that people would get the wrong idea. Would they think that I am I lazy to not want to do all the extra paperwork? Will they think that I am greedy and don't want to accept the low insurance fees (which are often lower than Medicare rates these days) just to make more money? Will they think that I am elitist who caters only to rich people who can afford to pay for all of their health care out of pocket?! None of those are true. Let me explain to you why I don't accept insurance, and why I probably never will (unless they vastly change the way they do business). There are many, many, MANY things currently wrong with American health care. The costs are out of control, and Americans are sicker than ever. One of those things that is wrong is the way that insurance works and the way that the insurance industry makes money. It's a mess with medicine, but it's really a mess for chiropractic. Here's problem #1: the whole point of insurance is that it's a hedge against disasters that hopefully won't happen. You get life insurance, but you hope you won't die. You get catastrophic medical insurance because you hope you'll never have a catastrophe. Chiropractic does not belong in the same category. Chiropractic is actually in the same category as the gym, or exercise. While going to the gym absolutely will make you healthier, and therefore insurance companies might be wise to subsidize a gym membership to save costs later, the fact is that they don't pay for gym memberships, and they never will. Why should they? It's not a disaster that you hope never happens. It's something that you should do, and if you want to stay healthy, then you're going to exercise. Some people are athletes, and they work out way longer and harder than the average Joe. That's their decision, and if they want it, great. If insurance DID pay for gym memberships (under the current medical model), what a nightmare it would be! Can you imagine? They would approve paying for X number of days at the gym, but if you wanted to work out more, you'd have to get your doctor to send them a report saying why it's "medically necessary" for you to work out more than average? It's b.s., of course. It's none of their business! It would create layers of complexity that serve NOBODY.
Big problem #2 is that the current insurance culture creates a toxic environment between doctor and patient wherein both doctor and patient make health care decisions based on what insurance will pay for! This is just wrong. The decision on what course of treatment to follow (or not) belongs solely with the doctor and the patient. The doctor should be able to be 100% honest with their patient, and the patient should be able to make a decision of their own. Insurance companies don't know (and don't care) about what is right for YOUR BODY. They know about statistical averages and how to save money. If you are a statistical average, then maybe this approach to health care works out ok! But if your body is unique, and if your health challenges are unique, then the system will fail you. I will no longer participate in this system and continue to play along as if it's legit. It's messed up, and it won't change until enough people put their feet down and say ENOUGH.
As of this writing, I have been in practice for 17 years! At almost 41 years of age, I am probably close to halfway through with the most active portion of my career. I am also probably halfway (if not more) finished with my life. Through the course of my career, I have seen the insurance industry become more and more greedy and abusive. I have also seen countless incredible and exciting healings and recoveries experienced by patients! The thing is, many of the most dramatic recoveries happened while using therapies that I know for sure insurance companies do not consider as valid. As an insurance doctor, I would have to abandon these techniques. (I was even told so, directly, by an insurance company.) But I'm here for my patients, not for those companies. I'm working for my patients and for the future of humankind - NOT the insurance companies. If my time is limited (and it is, just like yours is, too) I can no longer afford to waste any of it playing along with these parasites.
Insurance has its place: death insurance, catastrophic sickness insurance, earthquake and flood insurance, etc. But for health? That's between you and your health practitioners, whoever they may be.
I really hate to sound like a conspiracy theory nutjob or a radical something-something, but seriously? Corporate power and endless layers of paperwork and small print and legal loopholes and this and that and shady banking practices and blah blah blah.... How the hell did all of that find its way into one of the most basic and sacred parts of life? Your own health? It doesn't belong there, and until enough people quit playing along, it's just going to get worse and worse.
So that's why I don't deal with insurance in my practice. They can pretty much go to hell. :)