Medicare covers a chiropractor specifically for manual manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation. Original Medicare (Parts A & B) does not cover other services or tests ordered by a chiropractor, such as X-rays, massage therapy or acupuncture.
Some Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) may provide additional chiropractic coverage. Check with your Medicare Advantage plan directly to see what chiropractic services are covered.
What is Subluxation of the Spine?
Subluxation of the spine is when the vertebra – the bones in the spine – are separated or out of position. Symptoms may include pain, headache or stiffness, though these may have other causes as well. Chiropractic treatment involves adjusting the spine manually (with the hands) to help realign the vertebra and relieve the symptoms.
How Many Chiropractic Visits Will Medicare Cover?
Medicare covers chiropractic visits for medically necessary manual manipulation of the spine. “Medically necessary” means that the treatment is needed to diagnose or treat an illness, injury, condition or disease – or the related symptoms – and that it meets accepted standards of medicine.
In effect, Medicare may cover chiropractic visits for manipulation of the spine as long as the treatment meets the criteria to be deemed medically necessary.
How Much Does a Chiropractic Visit Cost with Medicare?
You will pay a 20 percent coinsurance for a chiropractic visit. Medicare Part B pays the other 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount. The Part B deductible applies.
Your costs may be different with a Medicare Advantage plan so be sure to talk with your plan provider directly.
Learn More About Coverage for Your Prescriptions, Providers, and Other Benefits