Yes, but coverage is limited.
Medicare Part B covers services from a licensed chiropractor under one circumstance: the manual manipulation, also called an adjustment, of the spine when it’s considered medically necessary to correct a subluxation. This spinal misalignment occurs when one or more bones in your back are out of position.
Part B covers treatment for an acute or chronic spinal condition that a chiropractor or other qualified provider performs on an outpatient basis. What won’t be covered is continuing chiropractic care, called maintenance care, after the spine has been realigned.
Acute conditions generally develop suddenly and last for a short time. Chronic conditions develop slowly and can get worse over time.
How much does a chiropractic visit cost under Medicare?
If you’ve already paid your annual Part B deductible, which is $233 in 2022 (and $226 in 2023), you pay 20 percent of the cost of a Medicare-approved chiropractor visit. If you have a private Medicare supplement policy, also known as Medigap, that policy will cover all or part of the 20 percent Part B coinsurance cost.
What chiropractic services doesn’t Medicare cover?
Medicare has no limit to the number of chiropractic visits covered but, again, it covers only medically necessary spinal manipulation to correct the subluxation. It won’t cover regular maintenance or preventive chiropractic visits or chiropractic treatments to other parts of the body.
Medicare will cover the cost of a physician-ordered X-ray that’s needed to validate that a spinal subluxation requires treatment, not any X-ray that a chiropractor orders. That’s a key difference to be aware of. If a chiropractor orders, takes or interprets an X-ray or another diagnostic test, Medicare will not provide coverage for those services.
In addition, Medicare doesn’t cover other services or tests that a chiropractor orders, such as massage therapy and acupuncture — unless the acupuncture is for treatment of chronic low back pain.