Does Health Insurance Cover Chiropractic?

The majority of health insurance plans cover chiropractic care. However, there are often limitations on the scope of coverage, and in many cases a referral is required. Learn more about the extent to which health insurance covers chiropractic. 



What is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic care is a form of health care that involves making adjustments to the spine and other parts of the musculoskeletal system. The goals are typically to relieve pain or improve range of motion. Chiropractic methods include stretching, applying pressure, and manipulating the spine.

People may seek chiropractic care if they experience:

  • Intense headaches
  • Sharp pain in the back or legs
  • Sports injuries
  • A recent car accident
  • Stiff shoulders or neck
  • Joint pain

According to the American Chiropractic Association, over 35 million Americans receive chiropractic treatment each year. 

Chiropractors cannot prescribe medicine. Therefore, individuals seeking pain relief without the use of medication may turn to chiropractic care. In other cases, chiropractic services are used to complement other treatments such as surgery and physical therapy.


chiropractor working on patient


When Does Health Insurance Cover Chiropractic Services?

Traditional health insurance usually covers chiropractic services. However, this coverage often comes with limitations or specific requirements.

For example, some plans require a referral before they will cover a chiropractic visit. Other plans may limit how many visits you can make to the chiropractor per month or per year. Some plans cap the amount of money the insurance company will pay out in a given period.

Health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also referred to as Obamacare, are not required to cover chiropractic care. However, most ACA plans do offer at least partial coverage.

On the other hand, short term health insurance is not likely to cover chiropractic work. These plans are designed to provide temporary coverage during gaps in traditional health insurance. Thus, they often provide minimal coverage that likely does not include chiropractic.

Furthermore, if your condition initially improves with chiropractic treatments but then levels out, your insurance may cease coverage. If chiropractic care becomes less about short-term improvement and more about long-term wellness, the insurance company classifies this as “maintenance” treatment and likely will not cover it.

In these cases, you can continue to receive chiropractic care, but you will likely have to cover the costs out-of-pocket.


woman receiving chiropractic treatment


How Can I Find a Health Plan that Covers Chiropractic?

To find a health insurance plan that covers chiropractic, you can research different options through, for example, the marketplace or your employer-sponsored health insurance offerings. Be sure to read each plan closely before making a decision. It’s important that you understand the full scope of what’s covered and what’s not before you commit to a plan.

You can also consult with a health insurance broker to help you explore different options. These professionals can present different plans to you and make sure you understand the requirements and limits of each one.

If you’re an employer who wants to offer chiropractic coverage to your employees, Mployer Advisor can help. Browse our directory of health insurance brokers and explore reviews, ratings and more to find a top broker with experience in your industry and company size. 

An expert broker can procure health insurance plans that include chiropractic care while meeting your other needs as well. They can help you balance cost and coverage in order to offer competitive health care coverage to your employees. Start your search for a health insurance broker today on Mployer Advisor.



About Mployer Advisor

At Mployer Advisor, our focus is creating transparency in the insurance and insurance broker, consultant and advisor space to the advantage of the employer. Analytics is our core and we will bring to light new information, tools and resources to aid employers in making more cost-effective decisions. As a phase I, we are here to help employers find the right broker or consultant and the right insurance company for them. Giving choice and initial transparency is a first step in creating an employer centric insurance marketplace.