Is a chiropractor covered by Medicare?

Does Medicare cover a chiropractor? Yes, Medicare will cover a chiropractor if it's medically necessary. Medicare Part B will cover 80% of the cost, and a Medigap plan can cover the rest. Medicare Advantage plans vary in terms of what your out-of-pocket costs will be. Which doctors will accept your Medicare coverage depends on whether you have Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Nov 19, 2021

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The Rundown

  • While Medicare does cover chiropractic services, it does not cover any additional testing
  • If you need additional testing, your chiropractor may be able to refer you to another doctor so that Medicare will cover the costs
  • Some Medicare Advantage plans offer routine chiropractic services as an additional benefit

When looking to answer: ‘does Medicare cover a chiropractor?’, it’s important to remember that while it does, in most cases, some additional testing may not be included. 

Medicare covers chiropractic manipulation of the spine to help people manage pain, provided they have active pain. However, it only pays for chiropractic care that corrects an existing problem. 

While most health insurance covers the cost of x-rays and some forms of massage therapy, Medicare will not cover these treatments if ordered by a chiropractor. 

Keep reading to find out what Medicare covers for chiropractic care and how to find a chiropractor covered by insurance. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool to compare Medicare quotes in your area. 

Does Medicare cover chiropractic care?

According to the American Chiropractic Association, around 80% of people experience back pain at some point in their lives. So if you’ve ever had to ask, ‘does insurance cover chiropractors?’ you’ll be happy to know that it’s a possibility.

Medicare covers a chiropractor specifically for manual manipulation of the spine to correct alignment. 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.

Medicare covers chiropractic visits for any medically necessary manual manipulation of the spine. This includes diagnosing or treatment of an illness, injury, condition, or disease – or the related symptoms – as long as it meets accepted standards of medicine and as long as deemed necessary.

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How much does a chiropractic visit cost with Medicare?

With Original Medicare, you will end up paying a 20% coinsurance for a chiropractic visit. Medicare Part B pays the other 80% of the Medicare-approved amount. The Part B deductible will apply as well.

Your costs may be different with a Medicare Advantage plan depending on your doctor and what type of treatment you may receive. A Medigap plan can also help cover these costs.

No matter what plan you choose, you will pay all costs for other services provided or tests that a chiropractor orders, including acupuncture, massage therapy, or X-rays.

How do I find a chiropractor that accepts Medicare?

To start searching for the best doctors that accept Medicare, you’ll first want to decide on which plan to choose.

  • Medicare Part B: helps people pay for doctor visits and some related treatments, covers some aspects of chiropractic care. Once a person meets their yearly deductible, Medicare will usually fund 80% of the cost for chiropractic treatment.
  • Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part C: an alternative to traditional Medicare, which private health insurance companies offer. Some plans may include greater coverage for chiropractic treatments than others. However, the level of coverage depends on the plans available.

Medicare Advantage may be part of a plan called a health maintenance organization or a preferred provider. These plans require the person to use in-network chiropractors that take Medicare to receive full reimbursement.

Does Medicare cover chiropractors? The Bottom Line

While Medicare doesn’t cover additional tests like x-rays, massage therapy, or acupuncture if they are ordered by a chiropractor, Medicare does cover the cost for the treatment of lower back pain by a chiropractor.

If you need additional testing, your chiropractor may be able to refer you to another doctor so that Medicare can cover the costs.

Now that you’ve learned about how Medicare covers a chiropractor, shop around for coverage. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool below and start comparing quotes in your area.

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