The $300 All-You-Can-Crack Buffet

Being self-employed and responsible for my own health insurance arrangements, what passes for “affordable” doesn’t include chiropractic care. The last few weekends, I’ve been hopping the train for the 110-minute trek down to the Jersey shore where my librarian mom moonlights as a bookkeeper for the chiropractor I’ve seen on and off since I got whiplash in a car accident when I was 17. I get free adjustments. Sounds great, right?

Except when you do something really smart like ignore the mounting problem for three months, so a few weekly visits don’t do the trick. Last year, I developed a problem in my upper back from running (not even the best sports bra on the market could help me, grr), and I got a recommendation for a chiropractor from one of my clients – a doctor, so I trusted his judgment. In addition to being eye candy, my new chiropractor offers a package of unlimited adjustments for $300/month. Well, at $70 for an individual visit and knowing that I’d need more than four in the weeks to come, I signed on.

I take a certain attitude towards buffets – I call it the “Let’s put them out of business” approach. I saw him 13 times in that month, which works out to be $23 per visit, and it did the trick. The problem I’m having now, I think I can surpass that. Not that my goal is to reduce the cost per visit to single digits, honest…everything just whacks back out overnight. Apparently sleep stresses out my neck despite having a good variety of pillows within arm’s reach – everything from a $100 tempurpedic to a rolled up handtowel.

So as much as I hate crashing out $300 on health care costs, it’s better than forking over $70 a visit and not going often enough to fix the problem. The only risk here is a possible return to my “chiropractic junkie” ways. The upside is that at least this form of crack addiction is much healthier and a bit cheaper than the the other kind!

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