For non-drug care the U.S. military is moving toward family coverage for chiropractic
On the heels of a long-awaited military report, chiropractic services could be coming to members of military families, included in their military insurance coverage.
The proposal will be issued no later than early next year, according to Military.com.
Earlier this month the U.S. Defense Department released a report mandated by congress, 10 years after it was ordered and submitted to Capitol Hill according to Military.com, that shows chiropractic care reduces lower-back pain and increases fitness among troops.
The government-managed health insurance for the U.S. service members, reservists, dependents, and some retirees is Tricare Prime, which “meets the requirements for minimum essential coverage under the Affordable Care Act.” Tricare currently does not cover any chiropractic or acupuncture services for military family members.
Following a mandatory public comment period, the chiropractic proposal will be returned to the Defense Health Agency, but coverage is not expected to be available until 2021 at the earliest.
Chiropractic care is currently offered only to active-duty troops and activated guard and reserve members following a year 2000 mandate. Adding the coverage for families will cost an extra $60-70 million to the U.S. military annually according to a released document.
The chiropractic report 10 years in the making, released earlier this month, involved a study at military health facilities by Rand Corp., Palmer College of Chiropractic and the Samueli Institute.
“The answer? It works,” reported Military.com, adding, “The second trial, to test whether chiropractic care had any effect on the reaction and response times of special operations troops, showed that a single session had an immediate effect on motor response…The third trial — on whether chiropractic care improves fitness among troops with back pain — showed that those who received such care saw a 5% increase in isometric strength, as opposed to a 6% decrease in strength among the control group, made up of service members who also had lower back pain but didn’t receive chiropractic care. Endurance also increased 14% in the chiropractic group” over 10% in the non-chiropractic group.
As of September 2019, U.S. House members and a handful of senators have proposed increased chiropractic care services for servicepeople and families, but proposals and measures have been held up by the House Armed Services subcommittee on military personnel, according to Military.com.
“Many of the brave men and women who serve our country have sustained back and other neuromusculoskeletal injuries that can be treated through chiropractic care,” Senator Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, said in a statement.