April 18, 2019

Lawmakers improve access to chiropractic care

As Vermonters look to select health insurance plans from the Vermont Health Exchange for 2019, they will notice a sharp decrease in chiropractic co-payments for the silver and bronze plans. That’s because, during a special legislative session in June, lawmakers passed S.1, an act limiting the co-payment requirement for chiropractic care visits to that of a co-payment for primary care visits. Gov. Phill Scott signed the bill into law earlier this summer.

Rather than $75-$90 co-payments on the silver and bronze health exchange plans, chiropractic visits will cost the same as primary care visits. The Vermont Chiropractic Association lobbied for the change, promoting chiropractic care as a drug-free alternative to opioid prescriptions for musculoskeletal injuries.

“I was very proud to sponsor S.1, which has the dual benefit of correcting the injustice of chiropractic patients having to pay too much out of pocket for their care, and encouraging treatments which provide healthy alternatives to potential dependency on opioids,” said Chittenden County Sen. Michael Sirotkin, who championed the legislation.

Vermont Chiropractic Association president Julia McDaniel said the current co-pay system creates a financial barrier for many patients seeking non-pharmacologic care for back and neck pain.

“Many cases of opioid addiction — and eventual heroin use — can be traced back to the epidemic of chronic pain that has for too long been improperly treated in this country,” she said.

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