Visiting a chiropractor for a routine adjustment might be viewed by your insurer as a sign of some “underlying medical condition,” and give justification for jacking up your rates by as much as 25%.
An LA Times story tells how a woman named Lisa France had her premiums raised by her insurer (Anthem) because she mentioned visiting a chiropractor:
Jerry Slowey, a spokesman for the insurer, said applicants for individual coverage are judged on “underlying medical conditions and their current treatment for those conditions, including any services such as chiropractic care.”
Because France disclosed during the application process that she’d seen a chiropractor in early December, she was told she must pay about $141 a month for health insurance (including a whopping $1,000 deductible) instead of Anthem’s originally offered $113.
Later, after Anthem began getting phone calls from the LA Times, the insurer changed its mind and offered France the $113 rate again. Why? No explanation.
But the story is one more demonstration that you can’t sit back and accept the bills presented to you without question. Whether we’re talking about insurance premiums, pay TV rates, or cell phone plans, if you’re not asking informed questions and being somewhat a pain in the butt, you’re probably getting ripped off.