Does Health Insurance Cover Chiropractic: Complete Guide

Does Health Insurance Cover Chiropractic

Health insurance coverage for chiropractic care varies depending on the specific health insurance policy. Here are some general considerations:

  • Policy Specifics:
    • Coverage Varies: Some health insurance plans include chiropractic care as part of their coverage, while others do not. Check your policy details to see if chiropractic services are included.
  • Type of Plan:
    • HMOs and PPOs: Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) might offer chiropractic coverage, but you may need a referral from your primary care physician (PCP) or must use in-network providers to receive the full benefits.
  • Limitations and Restrictions:
    • Visit Limits: Many insurance plans that cover chiropractic care place limits on the number of visits per year or have other restrictions, such as only covering treatments deemed medically necessary. Read about How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System
    • Co-Pays and Deductibles: You might have to pay co-pays or meet a deductible before the insurance coverage kicks in.
  • Medical Necessity:
    • Documentation Required: Insurance companies often require proof that chiropractic care is medically necessary. This might involve a diagnosis and treatment plan from a healthcare provider.
  • Preventive vs. Therapeutic Care:
    • Specific Treatments: Some plans cover chiropractic care only for therapeutic purposes (e.g., treating a specific injury or condition) and not for preventive or maintenance purposes.
Chiropractic Physical Therapy
Chiropractic Physical Therapy
  • Alternative Health Plans:
    • Supplemental Insurance: If your primary health insurance doesn’t cover chiropractic care, you might consider supplemental insurance policies that include alternative treatments. Discover about How Does Dementia Kill You

To get accurate information about chiropractic coverage, review your health insurance policy documents, visit your insurer’s website, or contact their customer service. Additionally, your chiropractor’s office might be able to assist in verifying your coverage.

What is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic care is a form of alternative medicine focused on diagnosing and treating mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. Chiropractors use hands-on spinal manipulation and other alternative treatments to align the body’s musculoskeletal structure properly, enabling the body to heal itself without surgery or medication. Chiropractic care is commonly sought for back pain, neck pain, headaches, and joint issues.

Types of Chiropractic Treatments

Chiropractors offer a variety of treatments, including:

  • Spinal Adjustments: The primary treatment method, involving controlled force applied to joints to improve motion.
  • Soft Tissue Therapy: Techniques such as massage, stretching, and resistance exercises. Learn about What are 3 Symptoms of Insomnia
  • Lifestyle Advice and Exercises: Personalized exercise programs and ergonomic advice to help maintain spinal health.

Why Chiropractic Care is Popular

Chiropractic care has gained popularity due to its non-invasive, drug-free approach to pain relief and its focus on holistic health. Many people appreciate the immediate relief from pain and the improvement in mobility after a session. As more studies highlight its benefits, chiropractic care is increasingly being integrated into mainstream medical treatments.

Health Insurance Basics

Health insurance is designed to cover a range of medical services, from routine check-ups to emergency treatments. Understanding the basics of your health insurance plan is crucial to determining if chiropractic care is covered. Health insurance plans can be categorized broadly into:

  • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs): Require you to use a network of doctors and get referrals for specialist care.
  • Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs): Offer more flexibility in choosing providers and do not require referrals.
  • Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs): Similar to HMOs but do not require referrals for specialists.
  • Point of Service (POS) Plans: Combine features of HMOs and PPOs, with varying coverage for out-of-network care.

Chiropractic Coverage in Health Insurance

Many health insurance plans include chiropractic care as part of their benefits, but the extent of coverage can vary significantly. Commonly covered plans include:

  • Employer-Sponsored Plans: Often provide comprehensive coverage, including chiropractic care.
  • Individual Plans: Coverage varies; it’s essential to check the specifics of your plan.
  • Family Plans: Typically cover chiropractic care for all members.

Medicare and Chiropractic Care

Medicare covers chiropractic care to some extent, but there are limitations. For instance, Medicare Part B covers manual manipulation of the spine if medically necessary to correct a subluxation (when one or more of the bones of your spine move out of position). However, other services or tests ordered by a chiropractor (like X-rays or massage therapy) are not covered.

Medicaid and Chiropractic Care

Medicaid coverage for chiropractic care varies by state. Some states include chiropractic services under Medicaid, while others do not. It’s crucial to check your state’s specific Medicaid program for details.

Private Health Insurance Plans

Private health insurance plans, including HMOs and PPOs, typically offer some level of chiropractic coverage. However, the specifics can differ:

  • HMOs: Generally require you to use network providers and obtain referrals.
  • PPOs: Offer more flexibility in choosing a chiropractor, often with better out-of-network benefits.

Requirements for Coverage

To ensure your chiropractic care is covered, you may need to:

  • Obtain a referral from your primary care physician.
  • Get pre-authorization from your insurance company.
  • Use a network provider to avoid higher out-of-pocket costs.

Out-of-Pocket Costs

Even with insurance, you may encounter out-of-pocket costs such as:

  • Copayments: A fixed amount you pay for each visit.
  • Coinsurance: A percentage of the cost of your care.
  • Deductibles: The amount you pay before your insurance starts to cover the costs.

How to Check Your Coverage

To verify if your insurance covers chiropractic care, follow these steps:

  1. Review Your Policy: Check the specifics of your health insurance policy.
  2. Contact Your Insurer: Call the customer service number on your insurance card.
  3. Ask Key Questions: Inquire about coverage limits, required referrals, and any pre-authorization requirements.

Maximizing Your Benefits

To make the most of your chiropractic benefits:

  • Stay In-Network: Use chiropractors within your insurance network.
  • Follow Protocols: Get necessary referrals and pre-authorizations.
  • Utilize Discounts: Look for wellness programs or discounts offered by your insurer.

Alternatives if Chiropractic Care Isn’t Covered

If your insurance doesn’t cover chiropractic care, consider these options:

  • Other Therapeutic Options: Physical therapy, acupuncture, or osteopathic treatments.
  • Paying Out-of-Pocket: Weigh the pros and cons of paying for chiropractic care yourself, considering the benefits to your health and well-being.
Chiropractic Physical Therapy
Chiropractic Physical Therapy


Understanding your health insurance coverage for chiropractic care can help you avoid unexpected costs and make informed decisions about your treatment options. While many insurance plans offer some level of coverage, it’s essential to know the specifics of your plan and any requirements for coverage. By doing so, you can maximize your benefits and ensure you receive the care you need.


How many chiropractic visits does insurance typically cover?

The number of covered visits varies by insurance plan. Some plans may cover a specific number of visits per year, while others might cover as long as the treatment is deemed medically necessary.

Is a referral necessary for chiropractic care?

This depends on your insurance plan. HMOs often require a referral from a primary care physician, while PPOs usually do not.

Can chiropractic care be covered under flexible spending accounts (FSAs) or health savings accounts (HSAs)?

Yes, chiropractic care is generally eligible for reimbursement under FSAs and HSAs, allowing you to use pre-tax dollars to cover the costs.

What should I do if my insurance claim for chiropractic care is denied?

If your claim is denied, contact your insurance provider to understand the reason. You can appeal the decision by providing additional information or documentation from your chiropractor.

Are there any chiropractic treatments that are usually not covered by insurance?

Insurance plans often do not cover additional services such as X-rays, massage therapy, and nutritional supplements unless they are deemed medically necessary.

Leave a Comment