Does Insurance Cover Chiropractic Care After a Car Accident?

does insurance cover chiropractic care

Car accident. Insurance. Chiropractic care. Most people would like to avoid that particular sequence of events, especially those in the healthcare industry.

Car accidents pose a particular challenge for healthcare professionals because people often sustain soft tissue injuries that are difficult to detect.

Unlike broken bones that are treated with surgery and splints, soft tissue injuries don’t necessarily show up on standard X-rays. They occur as a result of being violently thrown around during an accident.


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Chiropractic Care After a Car Accident

The most common problem is whiplash, which happens when the head and neck snap forward or backward. But many people suffer a variety of issues that run from back sprains to spinal misalignments.

The emergency room tends to give patients painkillers and muscle relaxants to help them with sleep. But soft tissue problems have a tendency to show up days later.

They also may require lengthy pain management and spinal rehabilitation.

To protect your health, it’s important to be evaluated by a licensed chiropractor. While you may be suffering from a car accident related injury, the good news is that insurance may pay for your chiropractic treatment.

Car Insurance

The State of Colorado switched from “no-fault” to a “tort system” after 2003. What that means to you concerning getting treatment for an injury paid for is that someone must be determined to be at fault before an insurance company takes care of the bill.

Perhaps somewhat ironic is the fact that if you are at the blame, your insurance company may pay your medical bills.

Colorado law also requires that insurance policies include the minimum coverage of $25,000 per person for bodily injury.


Colorado requires insurance companies to offer medical payment coverage that would likely cover the cost of chiropractic treatment. The coverage amount varies from policy to policy.

It’s important to consider the amount of coverage you opted for and adjust that figure to pay for unforeseen medical and chiropractic costs reasonably. When determining that number, keep in mind that soft tissue injuries often require long-term care and regular visits to the chiropractor.

Health Insurance Coverage

Although you may be facing some challenges from the car insurance crowd, the good news is that most health insurance plans include chiropractic care. Acute, short-term care is covered for injuries due to an accident.

However, each policy provides a different level of coverage.

Here are examples of standard chiropractic care treatments that are generally covered when prescribed by a licensed healthcare practitioner:

Massage Therapy
There are many types of massage therapies, often called “modalities,” and they involve the movement of soft tissue. For the purpose of rehabilitation, the deep tissue method is a standard therapeutic technique.

Many people pay for this treatment out-of-pocket, but when a doctor views this as a sound course of therapy due to injury, most insurance will provide coverage.

Dry Needling
This is considered a treatment and distinct from acupuncture. Dry needling is when a therapist focuses a thin filament into a pain area in the muscle, commonly referred to as a trigger point.

Dry needling is viewed as a form of physical therapy rather than alternative medicine, unlike acupuncture. For that reason, many insurance policies cover it as a treatment for pain.

It’s important to check with your insurance company about treatments and services they may or may not cover.

Dr. Julie Scott and the team at Scott Chiropractic are dedicated professionals whose goal is to maximize your health and wellness through chiropractic care.