A woman discussing potential chiropractic care with her healthcare provider.

Does My Insurance Plan Cover Chiropractic Care?

If you‘re suffering from back pain or neck pain, you’ve likely considered chiropractic treatment as a potential pain relief option. But, does insurance cover a chiropractor?

The short answer is sometimes; it depends on your insurance coverage and in some cases the type of care you need — and why.

Regular chiropractic treatment is a great approach to pain management, often delivering relief for chronic pain from sciatica, osteoarthritis, and migraines. But, it’s hard to know when insurance plans cover chiropractic services. Let’s take a look at how insurance policies differ when it comes to whether or not they cover chiropractic treatment.

How Health Insurance Companies Handle Chiropractic Visits

Treatments such as chiropractic care and acupuncture can be seen as an ancillary benefit – aka optional. However, there has been a shift in how insurance companies view these services. Now, it is much more likely that your insurance company will cover chiropractic services without you needing a referral from a primary care physician, however this may vary from plan to plan.

How Different are Various Health Insurance Plans?

How your insurance company handles chiropractic care varies from plan to plan, just like your deductible limits and the amount of your copay. Some medical plans may only cover services that are a part of an active treatment plan for a specific injury or ailment, whereas some may allow for a specific number of visits for maintenance care. How your health insurance covers chiropractic care will depend on what kind of insurance you have.

Employer-Sponsored Coverage

It’s pretty common for employer-sponsored health insurance plans to cover at least some chiropractic care. To see if chiropractic care is covered by your employer-sponsored insurance, check your benefits summary or get in contact with an agent.

Worker’s Compensation

If you have worker’s compensation and suffer an injury at work that needs chiropractic care or massage therapy, the services will likely be covered so long as you receive approval of care.

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) Insurance Providers

HMOs tend to cover chiropractic care when they are provided by in-network doctors. To find chiropractic care while insured under an HMO, you can check the list of approved providers.

Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) Insurance Providers

PPO plans are a little more flexible about covering chiropractic services as compared to HMOs. Both in-network and out-of-network options without a referral may be allowed.

Affordable Care Act Marketplace Insurance Plans

The ACA mandates that marketplace plans cover at least ten essential health benefits. Chiropractic care isn’t directly mandated at the federal level, but it is for some states.

States that require chiropractic care to be covered by marketplace insurance companies include coverage in their benchmark plan. As a result, many plans on the marketplace cover some form of chiropractic care and a certain number of visits.

Medicare and Medicaid

Similarly, Medicaid covers chiropractic services if they’re mandated by the state. Some states cover spinal manipulations, x-rays, diagnostic imaging, evaluations, and a certain number of visits, depending on your age.

Americans on Medicare Part B can receive spinal manipulations to correct vertebral subluxation. These visits have to be a part of an active care plan, as medicare does not cover maintenance care.

How to Know For Sure

The quickest way to determine if a service is covered by your insurance plan is to check with your insurance provider. Most major providers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and United Healthcare offer plans that cover all or some of the cost of chiropractic care. However, policies change from time to time, so be sure to check your specific coverage.

Even if you don’t have coverage through your insurance plan, receiving chiropractic services is still possible. Many offices work with you to develop an affordable payment plan that helps with the cost of your treatment.

Discover the Health Benefits of Chiropractic Care

So, does insurance cover care from a chiropractor? With all the benefits of chiropractic treatment, like pain relief without needing prescription drugs, it’s worth seeing what your plan can do for you!

If you’re looking for a path to medication-free pain management and whole-person wellness, Meridian HealthCare is here to help. We have a caring, multidisciplinary team of acupuncturists, chiropractors, mental health providers, and primary care physicians. If you need an adjustment, schedule your first visit with one of our chiropractors to feel the benefits.