A woman called my office a couple of months ago, and the first thing she asked me was "do you take my insurance?" I let her know that I did, and asked her if she wanted to schedule an appointment for a consultation. She told me over the phone that she had been suffering from back pain for the last 6 months, and nobody had been able to help her, so she wanted to see a chiropractor.
What she said next really surprised me. She said, "I'll have to call my insurance company, and go through the chain of command." Needless to say, I never heard from her again.
The reason this surprised me is that she had just told me she had been "suffering" for 6 months. This is typical for first time chiropractic patients. They usually voice their frustrations during the consultation. They say things like "nobody has been able to solve my problem, nobody has been able to help me so far, and nobody seems to be doing anything."
I think it is important that people understand that when it comes to your health, the chain of command starts with you. Sure, there is a protocol to be followed when you have a contract with an HMO, but ultimately it is your body, it is your health, and you should be more concerned about your health than your HMO. You are the only one who has to live in your body, and you have to live in it 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.
This person on the phone had insurance coverage, and I know it covered chiropractic treatment. I know this because I currently see many patients with her same insurance. When she called her HMO to "go through the chain of command" somebody talked her out of getting the care she needed.
Keep in mind that insurance companies do not provide health care, they provide insurance. They don't tell you what you can and can't do. They tell you what they will or won't pay for. Take advantage of the coverage they offer, because it will minimize your expense, but find a good doctor and listen to him or her. Health care is provided by medical doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, naturopaths, massage therapists, personal trainers and nutritionists. Not insurance companies.
Your health is the most important, and most valuable thing your own. Don't turn over health decisions to money people. Your doctor knows you, cares about you, has examined you and knows how to treat you. I'm only asking you to put yourself at the top of the so called chain of command, and take charge of your own health. Nobody will ever take your condition more seriously than you do.