VA Insurance Coverage for Chiropractic Treatment
In the past, it was rare for an insurance company to cover chiropractic treatments under their conventional health coverage. However, with the dramatic increase in acceptance of chiropractic and holistic therapies over the last decade, we see the industry shift significantly. In fact, throughout 2022, it was estimated that 35 million people – a full 10% of the population – visited one of the nearly 70,000 nationally registered chiropractors. VA insurance has followed suit and offers chiropractic coverage, although there are specific guidelines.
This article will discuss determining your level of coverage for chiropractic treatments.
How Do Medical Insurance Providers Cover Chiropractic Treatment?
Under most policies, chiropractic treatment is considered an “alternative treatment.” Treatments that fall into this category are typically holistic in nature and don’t utilize pharmaceutical medications. Alternative treatments may include chiropractic, as well as massage therapy, laser therapy, and acupuncture.
Due to the increasing demand for chiropractic care, health insurance providers are more frequently offering coverage for the cost of these treatments. Insurance companies vary as to any parameters and restrictions to accessing chiropractic care. For instance, you may be required to meet a deductible or have a referral to have your costs accepted for coverage.
It is also common for insurance companies to establish caps as to how many chiropractic visits are eligible for coverage annually. You will only be able to visit your chiropractor a set number of times before treatment costs are no longer covered. Because of these limitations, long-term chiropractic care or maintenance visits may not be covered, as they are considered supportive (versus corrective). If you wish to visit a chiropractor for health maintenance, you can reach out to your insurance company or establish supplemental health coverage to pay for any gaps.
Of course, your chiropractor will also allow out-of-pocket payments.
I’m a Veteran – Does the VA Cover Chiropractic Treatment?
Due to the intense physicality of their experiences, veterans often experience a wide range of neuromusculoskeletal conditions that can cause long-term pain and inflammation. These injuries can affect their quality of life for decades after their service is completed. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website states its mission regarding chiropractic treatment for veterans as follows:
“Our mission is to serve America’s Veterans by providing the highest quality chiropractic care while maintaining a strong commitment to advance chiropractic education and research.”
Chiropractic treatments are incorporated into the standard Medical Benefits Package available to all eligible Veterans. Similar to other specialized medical care options, chiropractic services are available by obtaining a referral from a VA primary care provider. The VA offers chiropractic services on-site at VA facilities, but veterans can also receive chiropractic care from private practice chiropractors by following agency guidelines. The VA will pay for up to 12 initial treatments under their coverage plans, followed by 6-8 visits per referral from a primary care physician. These visits can continue as long as the primary physician continues to renew the referral. If the patient and chiropractor choose, they can also use these visits for massage therapy or other alternative treatments.
Chiropractors offer veterans diagnostic and treatment alternatives for non-operative neuromuscular and musculoskeletal conditions, including lower back issues and neck and joint pain. Chiropractic treatment options typically include active rehabilitation, spinal manipulation, and other innovative therapies.
Important to Note: The VA will require treatment at a VA facility. However, if the nearest facility is located too far from the patient, they may request Community Care as an alternative. If you are in the Sarasota area and wish to receive local care, call the offices of Dr. Ryan Johnson at 941-487-0266 for help with the process.
Call Integrated Chiropractic
Dr. Ryan Johnson is honored to provide professional chiropractic care to all Sarasota residents and visitors, including members and veterans of the armed forces. In addition to conventional chiropractic methods, Dr. Johnson utilizes state-of-the-art holistic treatments, including Cold Laser Therapy, Eye Lights Brain Therapy, Therapeutic Ultrasound, and an Infrared sauna to create a uniquely natural and immersive healing process for his patients.
Call today to learn more about the advances in functional medical care and to schedule an initial visit.