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Does Medicare Advantage Cover Chiropractic Care

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What Happens On Your First Visit

Medicare Coverage – Chiropractors: Medicare Coverage and Chiropractic Care

During your first visit we will do a thorough history and examination of your spine and, if necessary, arrange any x-rays that are needed to find the cause of your problems. These x-rays are fully covered by Medicare so you will have no out of pocket expenses.

On this webpage you will also find a complete description of what happens on your first visit. As well as demonstrations of what is involved in a neck examination and a low back examination.

What Chiropractic Care Does Part B Cover

Medicare Part B will only cover your chiropractic care in very limited cases. Chiropractors offer a wide variety of services, many of which will not be covered at all.

Specifically, Part B will cover your chiropractic care if:

  • It consists of manual manipulation of the spine
  • It corrects a subluxation
  • It is deemed as being medically necessary

If your chiropractor orders an X-ray or additional therapy to help your condition, this will not be covered by Original Medicare. There may be other ways to get this type of care covered, which you can find out about in more detail below. Additionally, there may be other types of medical providers who can treat you in other ways for the same condition.

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What You Should Do For Chiropractic Coverage

If you believe you or a member of your family needs chiropractic services, and youre eligible for Medicare, make an appointment with a chiropractor who accepts Medicare. They will help determine the extent of your disability or injury and review all of your options for coverage.

You can also contact a licensed expert for help to determine your options for Medicare. They will ensure that you choose the best coverage for your health situation and ability to pay.

If you need to enroll in Medicare, call the Social Security Agency at 800-772-1213. You can also apply for Medicare benefits online or in person at your local Social Security office.

Stay informed about what Medicare or other insurance services provide in your area for chiropractic services. If you do your research, you can potentially save a lot of money on your chiropractic care.

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What Leads To The Need For Chiropractic Adjustments

Many common conditions can lead to spinal subluxations. For example, lets say you bend over to pick something up, and when you stand up, your back doesnt feel right. It hurts, feels tight, and you cant stand up straight.

You visit your doctor right away, and your doctor determines that your spine is out of alignment. Your doctor might refer you to a chiropractor.

Before your chiropractor creates a treatment plan you will have X-rays and tests to assess your range of motion.

Improper lifting is one cause of spinal subluxations. Other common causes include:

  • A vertebra going out of place due to slips, trips or falls
  • The entire spine slipping out of place because of poor posture
  • Damage to intervertebral joints resulting in joint swelling
  • Tight back muscles that can move the vertebrae out of place

Medicarepart C And Chiropractic Coverage

Does Medicare Pay For Maintenance Chiropractic Care ...

If you get your medical insurance through a Medicare Advantage plan, you have MedicarePart C. A Medicare Advantage plan is serviced by a private health insurance company. Medicare Advantage plans must cover everything that Orginal Medicare includes. In addition to basic coverage, some plans may offer additional coverage for chiropractic care.

Additional coverage can include coverage for chiropractic services, such as x-rays, but also other health conditions. You will need to find care from a qualified provider in your network. To understand what your plan covers, speak to your Medicare program provider. To learn more about Medicare Advantage, check out or page: Best & Worst Medicare Advantage Plans.

Medicare Advantage Plans as Low as $0/month

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What Parts Of Medicare Cover Chiropractic Care

Medicare Part B, the portion that 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, is 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 in a personâs geographical area.

A person with Medicare Advantage may be part of a plan called a health maintenance organization or a preferred provider organization. These plans require the person to use an in-network healthcare provider to receive full reimbursement. Therefore, people should check that a chiropractor is in their network before seeking treatment with them.

Medicare supplement, or Medigap, plans may also cover copayments for chiropractic care. A person with traditional Medicare may purchase these plans, while those with Medicare Advantage cannot.

Chiropractors address a range of spinal and other treatments, and the costs vary according to location, treatment, and the number of sessions.

According to a 2015 review, the cost of chiropractic care per episode ranged from

Medicare may cover other back pain services, medical treatments, and some alternative therapies, including the below.

Does Medicare Cover Chiropractic Care Services

Home / FAQs / Medicare Coverage / Does Medicare Cover Chiropractic Care Services

Medicare only covers chiropractic care services for manipulations to correct a misaligned spine. But, if you need care for a stiff neck or back pain, you can expect to pay for those services yourself. In the content below, well go over when chiropractic care has coverage, how much care costs, and Medicare guidelines for services.

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How Many Chiropractic Visits Does Medicare Allow

To date, there isnt a limit to the number of chiropractic visits Medicare allows. Youre able to receive treatment as long as its necessary to treat or correct your condition. Keep in mind, while Medicare covers visits for people experiencing acute or chronic pain, maintenance therapy must have an active treatment plan that works to correct the condition.

What Chiropractic Care Is Covered By Medicare

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Medicare Part B covers manual manipulation of the spine by a chiropractor or another qualified provider if its medically necessary to correct a subluxation. Subluxation refers to a subluxation in which one or more bones of your spine are out of alignment. You must also have an official diagnosis.

However, Medicare doesnt cover any other services or tests ordered by a chiropractor, such as X-rays, massage therapy and acupuncture .

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Does Medicare Advantage Cover Chiropractic And Acupuncture

When it comes to Medicare Advantage plans, we hit a bit of a grey area with coverage for chiropractic care or acupuncture treatment. Each Medicare Advantage plan is different from the next. So one plan may offer high fees and less benefits, while another offers low fees and more benefits.

At this point, it may be tough finding a Medicare Advantage provider that covers acupuncture. It may be worth looking into though, if it is something you truly feel is a priority for your health.The same answer goes for chiropractic services. Although it is usually much easier to come across, the prices and plans will vary.

Paying For A Chiropractor With Medicare

Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to increase Medicare coverage of chiropractic services. The Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act would grant Medicare recipients access to various chiropractic services. Under the legislation, a patient would have rights to all Medicare-covered benefits.

To find a chiropractor that accepts Medicare, you can search Medicare.gov and click on Find & compare nursing homes, hospitals & other providers near you. From there, you can search by provider type and type in chiropractic under the name and keyword search. When you search by location, youll receive information about whether the provider charges the Medicare-approved amount and accepts Medicare.

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Medicare And Chiropractic Care

  • Medicare may cover some chiropractic care, but only in certain situations. Learn more to make the most of your Medicare insurance when you visit the chiropractor.

Many older adults suffer from back problems and require the care of a chiropractor. But are chiropractic services covered by Medicare?

Medicare Part B covers chiropractic care if it includes manual manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation. This service, more commonly known as an adjustment, must be performed by a chiropractor or other qualified provider and must be considered medically necessary by a doctor in order for Medicare to cover the chiropractic services.

You do not need to have an X-ray to prove that you have a subluxation or to qualify for Medicare-covered treatment. However, in order for any chiropractic care to be covered by Medicare, it must be designed to correct an existing condition and not for maintenance or preventive purposes.

Beneficiaries will typically pay a 20% copay for the Medicare-approved amount of the service after meeting their annual Part B deductible .

Chiropractic Care With Medigap Plans

Does Medicare Cover Chiropractic Care?

If you have Original Medicare and have chiropractic treatments, a Medigap policy will cover your 20 percent share of the treatment cost.

Medigap is a Medicare supplemental insurance that helps cover your out-of-pocket costs with Original Medicare.

It can help pay for your coinsurance and copayments and, for some people with certain Medigap policies, it can help with deductibles.

Medigap plans sold to new enrollees with Medicare effective Jan. 1, 2020, are not allowed to cover the Medicare Part B deductible.

The deductible was $203 in 2021 and is $233 in 2022. Youd have to pay that deductible for Part B medical services on top of your 20 percent share of treatment cost.

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Understanding Medicare Chiropractic Coverage

If you know that you need chiropractic care, remember that regular Medicare will only cover it as treatment for spinal subluxation.

Youre responsible for the cost of treatment until you meet your annual deductible.

Medicare Advantage plans and Medigap plans may help cover some of your out-of-pocket costs for chiropractic care. You cannot choose both, you must decide if you want an Advantage plan or Medigap coverage.

Chiropractic treatments focus on the connections between your bones and muscles. Licensed chiropractors perform movements that bring your bodys musculoskeletal system back into proper alignment.

These treatments are usually administered in a chiropractors office, though some chiropractors have hospital privileges.

Chiropractors may also offer other health services, such as:

  • nutritional advice

Medicare Part B Chiropractic Guidelines And Exclusions For 2022

Medicare Part B will only pay for chiropractic care if the treatment is medically necessary. The most important thing to know is that you need to go to your doctor before the chiropractor. If the physician determines that you have a spinal subluxation , you will be able to use your Medicare Part B plan to help pay for a chiropractic adjustment.

Requirements for chiropractic coverage through Medicare Part B

  • Must be medically necessary .
  • Will only cover spinal manipulation for subluxation .
  • Must address a specific problem .
  • Can get an unlimited number of treatments as long as they’re medically necessary.

Chiropractic coverage exclusions

  • No coverage for other chiropractic services such as massage therapy, ultrasound treatments or traction therapy.
  • No coverage for other procedures ordered by a chiropractor such as X-rays or diagnostic tests. These tests can be used by a chiropractor to demonstrate medical necessity, but the tests will only be covered if they’re ordered by a doctor.

Part B does not have a limit on the number of chiropractic adjustments it will cover. However, for subsequent treatments, the severity of the medical issue may determine what’s needed to qualify as medically necessary. In most cases, you will need to show the treatment is “reasonable and necessary” through a spinal exam, assessment of improvement and evaluation of treatment effectiveness.

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Ancillary Chiropractic Services Covered By Medicare

Many chiropractors offer ancillary services that aid in traditional spinal manipulations, or treat medical issues that do not involve the spine. Original Medicare may cover some of these services. Services such as physical therapy and rehabilitation are likely covered if a physician orders them.

Additionally, Original Medicare may cover services to treat pre-existing health conditions, such as rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, or sciatica. In these cases, it is common for Medicare to require physician authorization.

If you have Medicare Part C or Medigap Plan F, there is a greater chance that the services will be covered. It is important to contact your provider prior to a visit to prepare for any payments you may be responsible for.

Does Medicare Pay For Chiropractic Care

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Medicare will help pay for chiropractic care to actively treat or correct acute or chronic subluxation. Medicare defines chiropractic care as manual manipulation of the spine when a trained and licensed professional, such as a chiropractor, uses his hands or a small device to apply a controlled thrust to a joint. The thrust is a specific amount of force in a specific direction and moves the joint more than it could on its own. Subluxation is when you have a partially dislocated joint, and your bones are out of position or alignment.

Medicare is specific about when it will cover chiropractic care:

  • It must be medically necessary that is, you need a proven treatment provided by a skilled professional for your condition.
  • You must have a neuromusculoskeletal disorder that is documented in your medical record.
  • Your chiropractor must provide documentation according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requirements and submit bills to Medicare using the correct codes .
  • Your medical record must show that your condition is improving as a result of the treatment.
  • Medicare does NOT pay for routine or maintenance chiropractic care.
  • Medicare does NOT pay for other services that your chiropractor might order, such as x-rays, acupuncture, or massage.

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Does Medicare Cover Chiropractor Visits

Original Medicare does cover some chiropractic services, though not all. According to the Official U.S. Government Site for Medicare, the plan does cover spinal manipulation if a chiropractor deems it medically necessary. If you are experiencing back pain, it is likely that chiropractic treatment is the correct form of treatment and Medicare will cover the expense.

Often, chiropractors request X-rays to diagnose issues with the spine. It is important to note that Medicare will not cover these costs unless a physician orders the test. If a chiropractor orders the X-ray, Medicare will not cover the cost. Be aware before your visit that Medicare does not require an X-ray to prove you require treatment for a spinal subluxation. You can still receive covered Medicare chiropractor visits without one.

Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cover Chiropractic Services

Medicare Supplement insurance are health insurance plans you can purchase to supplement Original Medicare. They require that you meet specific deductibles and copayments before eligible chiropractic services are covered.

Remember,if you only use Original Medicare, 80 percent of the cost of chiropractic services wont be covered. Costs can really add up if you require ongoing chiropractic care. A Medicare Supplement plan may cover the additional 20 percent of your eligible chiropractic costs.

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What Is Spinal Subluxation

The term subluxation describes an altered position of the vertebra and the resulting loss in function. Subluxation is a process in which tissues in the spine experience changes such as a buildup of blood or toxins, damaged or pressurized blood vessels or shrinking muscles over time.

Subluxation can cause pain in the back and neck, headaches and limited range of motion. The subluxation can be treated by a chiropractor using a high velocity arm thrust applied to the vertebra. This motion releases gas from the spinal joints and restores the spine to its proper position. The subluxation process typically begins again and requires regular visits to the chiropractor for adjustments.

When seeking chiropractic care, its important to find a chiropractor who accepts Medicare assignment so that you will not incur any Medicare Part B excess charges. Or if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, be sure the chiropractor you visit is part of your plans network of participating providers.

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Let Us Help You Find Medicare Coverage For Chiropractic Care

Does Medicare Cover Chiropractic Care?

If youre one of the many people who rely on chiropractic care for pain relief, you may want to consider a Medicare Advantage plan to help cover costs.

The licensed agents at Medicare Plan Finder are highly trained and they can help you find a MA plan in your area with additional chiropractic coverage. Call 833-438-3676 or contact us here to learn more.

This post was originally published on June 24, 2019, and updated on April 9, 2020.

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Does Medicare Cover A Chiropractor

Medicare covers a chiropractor specifically for manual manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation. Original Medicare does not cover other services or tests ordered by a chiropractor, such as X-rays, massage therapy or acupuncture.

Some Medicare Advantage plans may provide additional chiropractic coverage. Check with your Medicare Advantage plan directly to see what chiropractic services are covered.

How Many Chiropractic Visits Does Medicare Pay For

Medicare coverage can extend to as many chiropractic visits as you need to correct your subluxation.

The Medicare carrier or Medicare Administrative Contractor might review your medical records during your treatment to ensure you still need the therapy. However, there are no caps or limits on the number of visits Medicare covers as long as they are medically necessary.

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