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Affording Cold Laser Therapy: Understanding the Costs and Options for Patients

Paying for laser treatment

Cold laser therapy—also known as Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) or Photobiomodulation (PBM)—can be used to treat a long list of ailments, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, muscle sprains, back pain, and skin conditions. With this innovative and painless treatment, low-intensity lasers are applied to the injured area, lowering inflammation, improving blood flow, and stimulating tissue regeneration in the process. 

Patients who are new to this modality often have a lot of questions about it—and the first is usually with regard to laser therapy cost. Let’s take a look at what new patients need to know about the expenses involved in cold laser therapy.

Laser therapy cost

Calculating the cost of laser therapy is difficult, because treatment plans vary. A single session of cold laser therapy is relatively quick, lasting anywhere from 60 seconds to 10 minutes. The length of time will depend on the placement and severity of the problem. The amount that clinics charge for a single session also varies. Generally, the cost of cold laser therapy ranges from $50 to $150 per session, as treatment does require advanced technology and expertise. 

In addition to clinics charging different amounts for a single session, the number of sessions a patient needs will also vary. Some conditions can be resolved in as few as one to three sessions. Others require as many as thirty. For a patient who only needs three sessions, LLLT could cost as little as $150 total. But for patients requiring a dozen sessions at a higher individual price tag, cold laser therapy could cost close to $2000.

Insurance coverage

Naturally, cold laser therapy is far more affordable when health insurance covers the treatment. As things currently stand, Medicare does not cover cold laser therapy, but some private insurers do. As the benefits of cold laser therapy continue to be demonstrated in practice, more insurance providers are opting to cover the treatment for patients. Patients should ask their medical provider if they bill insurance for treatment, in addition to contacting their insurance provider directly to see if LLLT is covered as part of their plan. 

Payment plans

Laser therapy cost should not be a hindrance to patients who want to try this innovative and effective treatment. It’s also worth noting that the cost of cold laser therapy should be compared to other suggested treatments. Alternatives like surgery tend to be far more expensive, while also requiring a longer recovery period. One study about LLLT noted that it improves the quality of life for patients ata fraction of the cost” of incumbent approaches.

Because cold laser therapy is non-invasive and effective, most providers are willing to work with patients to find a payment option that suits their needs. They want as many people to reap the benefits of LLLT as possible. For patients who struggle to pay out of pocket for cold laser therapy, a payment plan can be created, allowing the cost to be spread out over a longer period of time. Some providers also offer treatment bundles or upfront discounts. Once again, patients should talk to their provider directly if they are concerned about cost. It can also be helpful to speak to several providers so payment plans can be compared before treatment is started.

Other cost benefits

The price tag of cold laser therapy is not necessarily reflective of its true value. There are many latent benefits to choosing this treatment option, including the fact that patients are not required to pay for pharmaceutical treatment on an ongoing basis. As already mentioned, cold laser therapy may also prevent the need for surgery, meaning patients won’t have to deal with the lost earnings that accompany a slow and painful recovery from an incision. When considering the cost of LLLT, patients should also consider the fact that the treatment is highly targeted and speeds up the healing process.

The bottom line 

Cold laser therapy is a very promising treatment option for patients experiencing a wide range of conditions. Because the treatment is relatively new, cost can vary depending on insurance, the provider, the treatment plans they offer, and the area that is being treated. In most cases, though, providers are quite willing to work with patients to find a treatment plan that works for the situation at-hand. While cost can be a legitimate concern, the demonstrated benefits of cold laser therapy tend to offset them. 

Altogether, LLLT is fast, effective, and painless, allowing patients to get back on their feet and back to their lives quickly. That’s priceless.