Is your chiropractic care covered?
Extended Health Care (EHC) Plans
You, like many Ontarians, may have an EHC group plan that your employer, union, trade or professional organization has set up as part of your workplace benefits package. If you are self-employed, you can purchase an individual EHC plan from various health care insurance providers.
EHC plans are sometimes called supplementary health or supplementary medical plans because their purpose is to supplement provincial health care coverage.
When chiropractic care is covered, everyone benefits
Chiropractic care is covered under many EHC plans as a ‘paramedical service.’ If you and your family have EHC coverage through an employee benefits package, it likely covers chiropractic care. In fact, our 2019 Environics poll revealed four in five chiropractic patients surveyed have private health care coverage to pay for their chiropractic care.¹
That’s not surprising when you consider research shows the following patient and economic benefits:
- Patients receiving chiropractic care have lower related disability recurrences and for shorter durations than those receiving care from other health care professionals. ²
Manual therapy, a common treatment used by chiropractors, shows an economic advantage relative to other interventions used for the management of spine, muscle or joint (musculoskeletal) conditions. ³
Employees who access chiropractic care tend to incur fewer costs because they are less likely to be prescribed medications or end up needing complex medical procedures. 4
Other Chiropractic Care Coverage Options
If you don’t have EHC coverage or your plan doesn’t include chiropractic, you may be eligible for one of the following options, if you meet specific requirements:
- Primary Care for Low Back Pain (PCLBP) Program for people who:
- Have low back pain and/or related symptoms
- Are a patient of one of the seven interprofessional primary care teams that offer the program or live near one of its locations in: Alexandria and Cornwall; Belleville; Mount Forest, East Wellington and Minto-Mapleto; Orillia; Scarborough; Sudbury; or Windsor
- Receive a referral from their doctor or nurse practitioner from the team
- Health2Work program (in the Region of Waterloo) for people who:
- Have back, neck or shoulder pain or stiffness, an injury, such as a sprain or strain, or arthritis that’s stopping them from working
- Are receiving support from Ontario Works or are a non-disabled family member of a person receiving Ontario Disability Support Program support
- Live in Cambridge, Kitchener or one of the evolving areas where this program is offered.
- Health Canada’s Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program (under its benefits specific to Ontario) for Canadian citizens who are a First Nations person (registered under the Indian Act) or an Inuk (recognized by an Inuit claim organization).
Some chiropractors also deliver care on a volunteer basis at select community health centres across Ontario. Check your local community health centre to learn of any volunteer chiropractors in your area.
Chiropractic Coverage for Ontarians
Working to help you, as well as other Ontarians, receive the chiropractic care you need is one of our ongoing priorities. In 2020, we are forming an OCA EHC Working Group to support this goal. We also regularly consult with government decision-makers and health care insurers (benefit firms) to ensure patients have access to chiropractic care in their EHC plans.