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Does Medicare cover chiropractic services?


Yes, Medicare Part B covers chiropractic services but with limited coverage.

Part B covers 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. Medicare has no limit to the number of visits to a licensed chiropractor for this purpose.

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Part B only covers treatment for an acute or chronic spinal condition that a chiropractor or other qualified provider performs on an outpatient basis. Acute conditions generally develop suddenly and last for a short time. Chronic conditions develop slowly and can get worse over time.

However, Part B doesn’t cover maintenance care, continued chiropractic care after the spine has been realigned or chiropractic treatments to other parts of the body.

How much does a chiropractic visit cost under Medicare?

If you’ve already paid your annual Part B deductible, which is $240 in 2024, 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 other chiropractic services doesn’t Medicare cover?

While Medicare will cover the cost of a physician-ordered X-ray that’s needed to validate that a spinal subluxation requires treatment, it won’t cover an X-ray ordered from a chiropractor. That’s a key difference to be aware of. If a chiropractor orders, takes or interprets an X-ray or another diagnostic test, Medicare won’t cover it.

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.

Does Medicare Advantage cover chiropractic services?

If you have a private Medicare Advantage plan rather than original Medicare, you may get extra coverage for these services. Medicare Advantage plans must cover at least the same chiropractic services as original Medicare, but copayments and deductibles may vary.

For example, you might have a $20 or $30 copayment for each chiropractic visit. And Medicare Advantage may require you to use an in-network provider.

Some Medicare Advantage plans cover routine chiropractic visits as an additional benefit. To find plans in your area that do, use the Medicare Plan Finder for plans in your zip code.

  • Within each result, click Plan Details and scroll down to the dark blue bar and click on + View more benefits & costs. Scroll down further to + View more extra benefits.
  • You’ll see chiropractic services in the list of Medically approved nonopioid pain management services. You can also find out about coverage for acupuncture, massage therapy and alternative therapies in that section. Some coverage or Not covered will be noted in the box. You’ll need to contact the plan or review the Summary of Benefits at its website for more details.
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Keep in mind

If you have a health savings account, you can withdraw money tax-free from the HSA to pay out-of-pocket costs for medically necessary chiropractic care. You can’t contribute to an HSA while enrolled in Medicare, but you can use money you already have in the account at any age.

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