Athletic trainers (ATs) play a vital role in injury prevention, rehabilitation, and healthcare for athletes and active individuals. But can athletic trainers bill insurance? The answer, like many things in healthcare, is a bit complex.

Here’s a breakdown of key factors influencing insurance billing for athletic trainers:

  • State Licensure and Practice Acts: Each state has its own regulations outlining an AT’s scope of practice and billing permissions. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) recommends checking your state’s Athletic Training Licensing Board or a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) to understand specific guidelines.
  • Insurance Provider Recognition: Not all insurance companies recognize ATs as qualified healthcare providers. It’s crucial to confirm if your insurance plan covers AT services within their network. Contacting your insurer directly is the best course of action.
  • Billing Under Physician Supervision: In some cases, ATs can bill under a physician’s supervision. This typically involves a physician creating a plan of care that the AT implements. However, Medicare, a federal health insurance program, doesn’t currently recognize ATs for “incident to” billing alongside a physician.

Optimizing Reimbursement for Athletic Trainers

While navigating insurance complexities can be challenging, here are some tips for ATs:

  • Stay Informed: Regularly check the NATA website ( for updates on billing and reimbursement for ATs.
  • Network with Colleagues: Connect with other ATs in your state to share best practices and experiences with insurance billing.
  • Partner with Physicians: Building strong relationships with physicians can open doors for collaborative care models and potential billing opportunities under physician supervision (depending on state regulations).


The ability for athletic trainers to bill insurance varies depending on state regulations and insurance provider policies. Staying informed, collaborating with healthcare professionals, and understanding your state’s specific guidelines are crucial steps for ATs seeking insurance reimbursement for their services.