Does Insurance Cover Chiropractors?

How To Tell If a Chiropractor Visit Is Covered by Your Insurance

A chiropractor works on a patient who is lying on a table
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Many health insurance plans cover chiropractic care for acute or short-term conditions. Some chiropractic care and services may have different deductibles, copayments, coinsurance amounts, and benefit limits.

Learn whether health insurance covers chiropractors, how much it might cost, and what to consider when insurance doesn’t cover your visits.

Key Takeaways

  • Most insurance plans cover chiropractor visits that are medically necessary to alleviate body pain or treat an injury.
  • Medicare Part B may help cover a percentage of one type of chiropractic treatment: spine manipulation to correct bones in the spine that are out of position.
  • Auto insurance may also cover recommended or reasonably necessary chiropractic treatment for neck and back injuries from a covered accident.
  • If your insurance doesn’t cover the associated costs, you can pay for a chiropractor visit with a Health Savings Account (HSA), Flexible Spending Account (FSA), a medical credit card, a regular credit card, or savings.

How Much Does a Chiropractor Visit Cost?

Chiropractic adjustment costs vary depending on your location, health provider, treatment plan, and reason for care. The average cost of a chiropractic session ranges from $34 to $106, according to CareCredit, a health care credit card company. Your out-of-pocket cost will depend on your insurance coverage.

Health Insurance Coverage for a Chiropractor

Many health insurance plans include chiropractic coverage when it’s part of an active treatment plan for short-term or acute conditions. An active treatment plan means you’re receiving care to alleviate a specific body pain or injury and your symptoms are improving. Coverage may come with restrictions such as dollar limits, visit limits, or mandatory referral requirements.

Most plans cover chiropractic care when it’s medically necessary, so you’ll likely not receive coverage if you’re using chiropractic care for maintenance and wellness treatments.

Health insurance plan providers may require you to meet the following conditions before considering chiropractic care medically necessary:

  • You’re suffering from a neuromusculoskeletal disorder.
  • Your primary care physician has clearly documented the medical necessity of a chiropractor.
  • Improvement in your condition is documented within the first two weeks of chiropractic care.

If your chiropractor doesn’t document improvement within the first two weeks, any subsequent treatment may not be considered medically necessary unless the treatment is modified. Continued chiropractic care after the maximum therapeutic benefits have been achieved may also not be considered medically necessary.

Due to varying state mandates and unique health insurance plans, always refer to your Summary of Benefits and Coverage document or contact your insurer to understand your plan’s levels of coverage and limits to care.

Does Medicare Cover Chiropractors?

Medicare Part B (medical insurance) may help cover a percentage of one type of chiropractic treatment: spine manipulation to correct bones in the spine that are out of position, known as spinal subluxation. Conditions of coverage through Medicare include:

  • Your primary care physician must determine the treatment to be medically necessary for correcting a subluxation.
  • You must meet your deductible before Medicare begins to cover any of your chiropractic costs.
  • Once you meet your deductible, Medicare pays 80% of the approved treatment amount.
  • You’re responsible for the remaining 20%, as well as any difference between the Medicare-approved amount and the actual cost of the chiropractic visit.

Medicare won’t cover other services or tests ordered by a chiropractor, including massage therapy, X-rays, and acupuncture.

If your health care provider recommends services not covered by Medicare or in addition to what Medicare covers, you may need to cover some or all costs out of pocket.

Does Medicaid Cover Chiropractors?

Some states cover chiropractor visits as an optional benefit to Medicaid beneficiaries. Eligible beneficiaries receive services for manual manipulation of the spine to correct a dislocation that resulted in a neuromusculoskeletal condition. Services must be provided by a chiropractor licensed by the state.

Similar to Medicare, Medicaid may cover chiropractic treatment deemed medically necessary. Depending on the state you live in, Medicaid may limit the number of visits or length of the treatment period. For instance, Utah limits Medicaid coverage for chiropractic services to 12 visits per recipient per calendar year.

Auto Insurance Coverage for a Chiropractor

In many cases, auto insurance will cover recommended or reasonably necessary chiropractic treatment for neck and back injuries from a covered accident. However, insurance coverage depends on several factors, including who was at fault for the accident, state insurance laws, and your policy details.

For example, in Texas, personal injury protection (PIP) is included with all car insurance policies unless you reject it in writing, and pays for medical treatments such as chiropractic visits no matter who is at fault for an accident. However, if you chose to reject PIP and purchase medical payments coverage instead, your car insurance policy would not cover chiropractic visits.

If you’re not sure whether your car insurance covers chiropractor visits, review your policy documents or call your insurance agent.

What To Do When Insurance Won’t Cover Chiropractic Costs

You shouldn’t forgo treatment just because your insurance doesn't cover chiropractic care. Explore the following options if you’re not relying on insurance to cover your visit to a chiropractor.

First, you can pay for the cost of chiropractic care with a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Both accounts let you put aside pretax dollars and use them to cover qualified medical expenses, including chiropractic care.

You can also choose to pay for chiropractic costs out of pocket. If you do so, save your receipts so you can include the costs in your medical expenses deduction.

Another option is to consider using a medical credit card designed exclusively for medical expenses such as regular chiropractic visits, deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. However, be sure to fully understand the financing options before you sign up.

The Bottom Line

Many health insurance plans cover the cost of chiropractic care that’s medically necessary to alleviate a specific injury or body pain. Medicare Part B may also cover a portion of the costs after you’ve met your deductible. In cases where insurance doesn’t cover a chiropractic visit, consider tapping into your HSA and FSA accounts, paying out of pocket, or using a regular or medical credit card.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should you wear to a chiropractor appointment?

Since you’ll most likely remain fully clothed during a basic chiropractic appointment, you should dress in loose-fitting clothes that keep you comfortable and don’t interfere with the chiropractic treatment. It’s a good idea to avoid jewelry and accessories that could get in the way of your chiropractor’s manipulations.

How often should you see a chiropractor?

How often you need to see a chiropractor depends on why you need the treatment. Your doctor or chiropractor will recommend how frequently you should seek treatment to alleviate your pain or injury. Your insurance policy may also specify coverage limits for the frequency or number of appointments.

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Article Sources

  1. CareCredit. “Chiropractic Financing.”

  2. Aetna. “Chiropractic Services.”

  3. Medicare.gov. “Chiropractic Services.”

  4. Department of Health and Human Services. “Chiropractic Care: Medicaid Coverage.”

  5. Utah Division of Medicaid and Health Financing. “Utah Medicaid Provider Manual: Section 2 Chiropractic Medicine,” Page 3.

  6. Texas Office of Public Insurance Counsel. “Understanding PIP vs. Med-Pay.”

  7. IRS. “Publication 502 (2021), Medical and Dental Expenses,” see “Chiropractor.”

  8. CareCredit. “CareCredit.”