Insurance does not typically cover functional medicine work ups or treatments. As a result the expense in functional medicine treatment protocols involves the lab investigations, supplements and follow up visits with the physician. Oftentimes this expense can be addressed by talking openly with your treatment team, and the treatment plan is designed with the resources of a person in mind. In the long run however functional medicine can be much more economical by helping prevent illnesses, which is less expensive than the treatment model of conventional medicine.
For example a person who starts engaging in exercise, avoiding disagreeable foods, cooking at home and spending more time in nature might have a resultant improvement in mood, better relationship with family members, better physical health, less obesity, healthier appetite, better energy, lesser chances of diabetes, lesser chances of kidney disease and the list goes on and on. This prevention represents significant healthcare savings on part of the individual and also the healthcare system. However to get to this place, a person might need to optimize their gut health so that they can absorb the foods that they are cooking. A person might have to optimize energy levels so that cooking at home can be done. For figuring out gut health a stool testing might be necessary. To remove offending foods, a food sensitivity test can be helpful. To determine how to increase foods in a diet that is supportive to a person’s health, the general nutritional status of the body needs to be determined. These are just examples but like most primary prevention programs the upfront cost and effort pays off multiple times over in treatment costs.