Chiropractic care is a form of “alternative medicine” that is focused on the treatment of the musculoskeletal system. It is often used for back injuries and spinal cord injuries—though chiropractors can treat a wide range of other medical conditions as well. This raises an important question: Is a chiropractor covered by workers’ comp insurance in California? The answer is that it may be covered—but there are some special considerations to keep in mind. In this blog post, our Fresno workers’ comp attorneyexplains the key things that you should know about chiropractic care and workers’ compensation claims in California.
Starting Point: Chiropractic Care is Covered (if Deemed Reasonably Necessary)
Chiropractic Care is somewhat controversial. Some people strongly believe in its utility. Others have questions about it. Regardless, the law is very clear: Chiropractic care can be covered by workers’ compensation insurance in California. There is no controversy over this specific fact. A workers’ comp insurer and/or claims administrator cannot simply deny all chiropractic care cases. Under California law (Labor Code Section 4600), the following health related services are all covered “medical, surgical, chiropractic, acupuncture, and hospital treatment.”
To be clear, an injured worker cannot automatically get coverage for all of their chiropractic care treatments. As with other types of medical treatment in California, chiropractic care will only be covered if it is deemed reasonably necessary to relieve and cure a worker’s condition. Further, a chiropractic cannot be the sole treating physician that recommends such care. A doctor must also treat the injured employee.
Prior to 2004, an injured worker could technically get coverage for an unlimited amount of trips to the chiropractor through their workers’ compensation insurance. However, there have been changes to state law. As of 2004, there are now statutory limits on the number of times that an injured worker can go to the chiropractor and still have their treatment covered. Under California law (California Code of Regulations § 9785), there is a general limit of “24 chiropractic visits.” However, the employer could authorize additional covered chiropractic treatments if they choose to do so.
Serious disputes can arise during the workers’ comp claims process in California. It is not uncommon for injured workers who are seeking chiropractic care to run into problems with their employer and/or the insurance company. You do not have to navigate these issues alone. An experienced Fresno workers’ comp claims attorney will protect your rights and interests.
Get Professional Legal Guidance and Support
Joseph C. Yrulegui is a top-rated California work injury attorney. If you have any specific questions or concerns about getting workers’ comp benefits for chiropractic care, we are more than ready to help. Get in touch with us by phone or contact us online to schedule your initial appointment with a lawyer. We serve clients throughout the entirety of the San Joaquin Valley.