If you are recovering from an injury or surgery, your doctor has probably recommended working with a physical therapist to help you regain strength, flexibility, and normal range of motion. In addition to stretches and strength training exercises, your physician might also prescribe the use of a cold and compression machine to help speed up the healing process and reduce pain and swelling.
Many physical therapy clinics have cold compression systems that you can use during your treatment sessions, but what if you want the many benefits of cryotherapy and active compression in your own home? Will insurance reimburse for the cost of purchasing a cold and compression unit? The answer is: it depends.
Cold Compression Systems and Health Insurance
When it comes to health insurance, every situation is unique. Whether or not you are covered for any type of medical care will depend on the carrier, your policy, the nature of the injury, and a number of other factors. The only way to know for sure if your carrier will reimburse the cost of a cold compression system is to go through the proper channels.
Some of the factors to consider include:
Is cold compression therapy medically necessary?
Health insurance providers require cold compression devices to be deemed medically necessary in order to warrant coverage. The determination of necessity is made on a case-by-case basis and generally requires documented clinical information about an injury or surgery.
How long can you claim benefits?
Providers typically put a limit on the length of time that use of the device is covered For example, your policy might only allow for two weeks of use because this is the amount of time that they have determined it is medically necessary. However, the reality might be that you can benefit from cold compression therapy for six weeks, ten weeks, or on an ongoing basis, especially if you’re an athlete. Given this time limitation, it might make more financial sense for you to purchase a unit so you can use it whenever you need it.
What if your insurance doesn’t cover cold compression therapy?
If you have a prescription from a physician and your insurance provider will not reimburse you for purchasing a unit, you have a few alternative options. You could rent a system and return it when you are finished. This will come with out-of-pocket expenses, but the overall cost will be lower than purchasing. If you think you will benefit from long-term use and you want to purchase a unit, look for special pricing offers and programs that fit your needs.
If you’re not sure whether your insurance provider will cover the cost of purchasing a cold compression system for home use, contact them before you buy to find out. However, even if they will not reimburse you, the benefits of purchasing a system often outweigh the costs. Think about how much money you will lose every day you are unable to work because of your injury or surgery. Now consider that cold compression therapy will help you return to activity much more quickly because it is proven to accelerate the healing process. Additionally finances are not the only factor to consider when you make a decision. Think about your quality of life and how much better your recovery will be with the ability to quickly control pain and swelling while you heal.
If you want to learn more about how you can use cold compression therapy at home, contact the experts at Game Ready. We’ll help you navigate the insurance process, and if your provider won’t cover purchasing a unit, we’ll work with you to find a solution that matches your needs. Get in touch with us today to get started.