Arlington, Va. – The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), a longtime advocate for increasing availability and coverage of chiropractic services in the military community, is encouraged by news that the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) will offer chiropractic services at six U.S. locations beginning this year. The development could signal positive changes to come in respect to coverage of chiropractic services for military families and retirees.
Chiropractic services were first made available to the military community in 2000, following the enactment of ACA-championed legislation to create a permanent chiropractic benefit for active-duty personnel. Dependents and retirees, however, still lack chiropractic coverage under the military’s civilian healthcare program, known as TRICARE.
“We believe the change at AAFES is a harbinger for expanded services in the coming months,” said John Falardeau, ACA senior vice president of public policy and advocacy. “We learned in 2019 of the Pentagon’s plans to increase access to chiropractic for TRICARE beneficiaries in 2021, and we anticipate that growth to continue.”
AAFES makes competitively priced goods and services available to the military community at more than 3,000 locations worldwide. Many locations also offer healthcare services for vision, dental and durable medical equipment onsite. The military’s decision to add chiropractic services at select exchange locations is an acknowledgement that those services are valued and needed by members of the military as well as their dependents and retirees who are also permitted to shop and use the services of AAFES facilities.
Chiropractic services are available today to active-duty members at more than 60 military bases in the United States, Germany and Japan. As part of the pilot program that tested the benefit—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 includes not only dependents and retirees but also survivors of military personnel.
About the American Chiropractic Association
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is the largest professional chiropractic organization in the United States. ACA attracts the most principled and accomplished chiropractors, who understand that it takes more to be called an ACA chiropractor. We are leading our profession in the most constructive and far-reaching ways–by working hand in hand with other health care professionals, by lobbying for pro-chiropractic legislation and policies, by supporting meaningful research and by using that research to inform our treatment practices. We also provide professional and educational opportunities for all our members and are committed to being a positive and unifying force for the practice of modern chiropractic. To learn more, visit www.acatoday.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.