On January 8, 2019 Congress Introduced Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Chiropractic Access to Military Retirees, National Guard and Reserves. The Chiropractic Health Parity for Military Benefits Act would ensure that those who retire from military service can continue to receive the quality chiropractic care they accessed previously through the Department of Defense (DoD) healthcare system. Since painful musculoskeletal conditions are a common complaint among those who have served in the military, the legislation adds an important non-drug option for pain management in TRICARE for those who wish to avoid or reduce their need for prescription opioid pain medications.
Chiropractic services were first made available to active-duty military personnel in 2000, following the enactment of legislation to create a permanent chiropractic benefit within the DoD health care system. As part of the pilot program--before full implementation--retirees were also granted access to chiropractic services on a space-available basis. At the time, it was noted that the benefit was valued by members of the TRICARE community, which serves not only retirees but also dependents and survivors of military personnel. Today, chiropractic is available only to active-duty service members at more than 60 military treatment facilities in the United States, as well as bases in Germany and Japan.