Chiropractic is a legitimate treatment for those who suffer from persistent pain. Many people use it before moving onto more complicated treatments, like procedures and medications, or as a last resort when all other treatments have failed. Back pain affects millions of people each year and is a main reason for Americans missing multiple days of work. Coverage for chiropractic is normally included in insurance plans, but someone who is on a government plan may wonder if it still applies. Here’s a rundown of how different health plans cover chiropractic care.
For those on Medicare, chiropractic is technically covered, but you’ll have to jump through a few hoops to receive it. Medicare states that chiropractic treatment must be for a medical condition, which means that you have to be referred to a chiropractor by a doctor first. Failing to complete this step could mean forfeiting the coverage for your chiropractic appointments. A doctor will also have to refer you for a specific condition. If you think chiropractic might be in your best interest, discuss options with your doctor.
Though Medicaid is a federal government program, states can opt in and out of what it covers. Some things are automatically covered, but others are optional, meaning you aren’t necessarily covered for certain procedures. Unfortunately, chiropractic care falls under an optional service. Your state may not require Medicaid to cover your appointments. If you’re worried this is the case, call your local insurance agency to see if it’s covered and to discuss other options if it is not.
If you have health insurance through your job, you may already be covered for chiropractic visits, especially if your pain is a direct result of your work. Employers can take out seemingly endless options for employee health coverage, however, so you’ll need to check if your job does cover chiropractic care. You should ask your employer for their policies or call the insurance company to be sure. They may require a doctor’s referral to actually cover it, and they may limit the number of visits you can see a chiropractor each month or year.
If you have any questions about chiropractic care coverage, contact your insurance company to get the full scoop. They are the best ones to ask about specific situations, injuries, accidents and doctor’s referrals that could impact your chance at coverage. You can also discuss your choices with your doctor or your chiropractor if issues arise.