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How Many Chiropractic Visits Does Medicare Allow

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What Are The Medicare Rules For Physical Therapy

Medicare Chiropractic Services and Tips for 2020 – Does Medicare Pay for Chiropractic Services?

In the past, Medicare paid physical therapists based on the number of visits and the amount of time they spent with patients. To keep costs down and improve care, Medicare adopted a value-based approach to physical therapy. Therapy doctors are now paid based on a complex formula that considers several factors related to a patients needs.

Doctors can authorize up to 30 days of physical therapy at a time. But, if you need physical therapy beyond that 30 days, your doctor will need to re-authorize it.

Are Medicare Chiropractic Services Covered In Full

Chiropractic services fall under Medicare Part B , and they arent covered in full. Like most of the services Medicare Part B covers, it will only pay up to 80% of the cost of your treatment. You may also be responsible for the Part B deductible , or assignment fees if your chiropractor chooses to charge more than the amount agreed to by Medicare.

If you have a Medicare Supplement plan, your plan will cover its usual amounts. For instance, if you have Medigap Plan G and youve already met the annual Part B deductible, youll have no additional out-of-pocket costs for your covered chiropractic care.

Medicare Advantage plans may have different rules regarding chiropractic care and costs. You can contact your plan to learn which services youre eligible for, what your costs may be, and which providers accept your coverage.

Nothing on this website should ever be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, including decisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior to undertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine.

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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Finding A Medicare Chiropractor

One of the most important things to note is that any healthcare provider that accepts Medicare must hold a special licensure that allows them to receive reimbursement from the plan. Not all chiropractors or offices have the necessary license. For this reason, it is important that you find a chiropractor that Medicare does cover.

ChiroCare of Florida does accept Medicare. We are proud to serve those in the South Florida community with Orginal Medicare Part B plans, as well as Advantage Medicare Part C plans and Medigap Part F Plans. If you are struggling with back, neck, shoulder, or muscle pain, know that it is possible to find relief.

Medicare Part C Maybe

Holistic Chiropractic Care

Part C, also called Medicare Advantage, are Medicare plans offered by private insurance companies. Some Medicare Advantage plans may cover chiropractic treatments, but the terms can be different for each individual. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, check with your provider to see what chiropractic services are covered.

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Is Acupuncture Covered By Medicare

Unfortunately, no. At this time, acupuncture specifically is not covered by your Original Medicare plan. Medicare typically does not cover services that are not considered medically necessary. Medicare will cover other types of therapy, like physical, occupational, or speech therapy. However, acupuncture is not part of those types of therapy yet.

If you should decide to seek the help of a professional acupuncturist, it is important to be quoted on prices for the entire process. Patients typically get the initial first visit cost, and tend to forget any additional costs for follow up appointments or extra care.

Find out how many appointments youll need to attend. If there are any additional costs, and how often youll need to attend follow-up visits.

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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Chiropractic Care And Medicare Supplement Plans

Medicare Supplement plans are insurance plans offered by private insurance companies that cover fees that Original Medicare does not. Like Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement plans can vary widely according to price. However, unlike Medicare Advantage, the coverage that Medicare Supplement plans offer doesnt vary at all.

For example, Supplement Plan A may cost more in New York than in Kansas, but the coverage offered will be exactly the same. This is because it is regulated at the federal level.

For now, Medicare Supplement plans do not cover any chiropractic services. However, many Medicare Supplement plans do cover your Part B deductible and the 20% of the Medicare-approved amount that you have to pay out of pocket for chiropractic care.


As many people who seek chiropractic care are suffering from chronic pain issues, chiropractors may partner with local physicians to handle pain management care together.

How Many Chiropractic Visits Does Medicare Allow

How Medicare Is Different with Chiropractic

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.

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How Can I Find Out If My Health Plan Covers Chiropractic Treatments

To find out if your health insurance covers chiropractor visits and treatments, pull out your policy and look it over. Dont have it handy or cant find it? Look on the insurance companys website. Most have sample copies of all their policies that you can review.

And if reviewing your policy doesnt help? Pick up the phone and call the insurer. Or send an email. Or start an online chat. No matter which option you choose, ask specific questions like the ones listed below.

Questions to ask your health insurance company about chiropractic coverage:

  • Does my plan cover chiropractor visits?
  • If so, do I need to get a referral from my doctor before I can see a chiropractor?
  • Do I need to use specific, approved chiropractors, or can I go to anyone?
  • How many chiropractor visits does it cover per month or year?
  • Do I pay anything out of pocket, such as copays, for these chiropractor visits?
  • Do chiropractic treatments count toward my plans deductible?
  • Does my plan cover the cost of the initial examination?
  • Does it pay for anything besides the chiropractic sessions themselves? Will it cover X-rays, tests or tools if my chiropractor prescribes or recommends them?
  • How much will I have to pay for chiropractic treatments or services if my plan doesnt cover them?

Get an insurance quote on the phone. Call: | Agents available 24/7

Medicare Does Cover Chiropractic Care But Does Not Cover Acupuncture At This Time Here Is A Great Article By Medicare Faq That Jumps Into The Topic With Both Feet

Often times, in the weeks following an injury or when pain becomes too much to deal with, patients will seek the support of a chiropractor, or acupuncture specialist. Both acupuncture, and chiropractic care, were created to treat moderate to high level pain and discomfort.

However, one concern that always comes to mind is out-of-pocket expenses, which can definitely add up. So naturally, this has Medicare beneficiaries wondering just how much of these treatment costs are covered by their Medicare plan, if covered at all.

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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.

Chiropractic Services Not Covered By Medicare

Chiropractic Care

If you have Original Medicare, chiropractor visits for ancillary services are generally not covered. These services include acupuncture, massage therapy, and other treatment options the plan deemsnot medically necessary. With Medicare Part C or Medigap Plan F coverage, these services may be covered.

Additionally, many chiropractors offer services such as cupping therapy, laser treatments, and general wellness programs. It is not likely that Original Medicare will cover these treatment methods. Medicare typically requires that you take advantage of wellness programs from your primary care physician, and elective procedures such as laser treatments are not covered by the plans.

However, if you do have a Medigap Plan F, contact your provider. There may be provisions that allow you to seek additional treatment. Medicare Part C and Medigap Part F offer greater flexibility in terms of treatment and cover a wider range of services. Of course, if you discuss a health concern with your doctor and they advise you to seek treatment from a chiropractor, call your benefit administrator to discuss your options.

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What Chiropractic Codes Does Medicare Cover

Chiropractors use a range of Current Procedural Treatment codes when billing Medicare for patient services. Medicare covers the following chiropractic codes:

  • CPT Code 98940: Chiropractic manipulative treatment of the spine in one to two regions
  • CPT Code 98941: CMT of the spine in three to four regions
  • CPT Code 98942: CMT of the spine in five regions

Chiropractors must also add the AT modifier code to CPT Code 98940, 98941, or 98942. This modifier shows the patient is receiving acute treatment. Without this modifier, Medicare assumes the patient is having maintenance treatment and denies the claim.

Does Medicare Advantage Cover Chiropractic Care

Yes, Medicare Advantage plans will cover medically necessary chiropractic care.

Some plans may also provide chiropractic benefits beyond what Medicare Part B offers, including routine chiropractic appointments. This means you can get a maintenance treatment without needing the medically necessary documentation of having altered vertebrae positioning.

Medicare Advantage plans are more like traditional insurance because you’ll sign up for a single plan that provides unified medical coverage. Benefits vary widely, and you should check your policy about which chiropractic services your plan will cover.

Providers usually have trends about how they classify chiropractic treatments, and the table below shows the average costs and requirements for some major Medicare Advantage providers. Note that preauthorization may be required.

Medicare Advantage provider
Usually not covered

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How Much Will You Pay For Chiropractic Care With Medicare Part B

After you meet your Medicare Part B deductible, you’ll pay 20% of the approved cost of chiropractic care. Medicare will pay the other 80% of the cost. You must go to a chiropractor that accepts Medicare for your bill to be covered, otherwise you risk paying the whole amount for the service.

The cost of your chiropractic bill is based on the number of spinal regions that need manipulation.

Chiropractic adjustment

Average Medicare-approved amount

Remember to always seek out medical advice from a health care professional about what type of treatment is best for your needs.

Medicare Part C Coverage Of Chiropractic Care

Chiropractors Must Bill Medicare

Some Part C, or Medicare Advantage plans, offer routine chiropractic services as a benefit. These plans typically cover a portion of chiropractic care.

Often, Medicare Advantage plans cover 80% of the costs while you pay for the remaining 20%.

Additionally, some Medicare Supplement plans offer chiropractic coverage services as an extra benefit.

Some private plans pay for chiropractic services outside of manual manipulation. You will need to check with your plan provider to see what is available to you. Some of these services could include:

  • Chiropractic visits for pain relief, neuromusculoskeletal disorders and nausea

  • Therapeutic exercise

  • Manual therapy

  • Radiology

  • Spine, cervical

  • Spine, thoracic

  • Spine, lumbosacral

  • Durable medical equipment such as a sling , lumbar cushion/cervical pillow, cervical collar , thoracic , heel lift, wrist hand orthosis and wrist extension control

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Does Medicare Cover Chiropractic Care

Manual manipulation of the spine by a chiropractor has coverage if it is medically necessary to correct a subluxation. Subluxation is a medical term for the misalignment of the spine.

Youll need an official diagnosis as well as a qualified chiropractor to have this treatment covered by Medicare. When Medicare does cover chiropractic care, those services will fall under Part B.

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 to help realign the vertebra and relieve the symptoms.

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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.

Medicare Covers Chiropractic Care For Seniors

Holistic Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care became a covered benefit under Medicare Part B on July 1, 1973. Passed by the House of Representatives in an overwhelming vote of 305 to 1 and in the Senate by 60 to 0, the bill was signed by President Nixon the previous year.

Eligible patients must be 65 years of age or older and have a specific, symptomatic musculoskeletal complaint. Strangely, Medicare requires that chiropractors conduct an initial examination of the patient, but refuses to compensate chiropractors for it. Medical doctors have the same requirement, however they are reimbursed for it. Similarly, medical doctors can opt out of Medicare however, chiropractors may not!

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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.

What Is A Chronic Condition

A chronic condition is defined as a condition that has been present for six months or longer.

Its important to remember that while you may be suffering from acute low back pain, neck pain or a headache that has only be present for a few days, often the underlying cause is a chronic problem that you are not aware of.

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Medigap And Physical Therapy

When you have Medigap, the plan pays your portion of the coinsurance bill. Some plans even cover deductibles. Those that anticipate needing physical therapy should consider Medigap.

To better explain how Medigap could benefit someone in need of physical therapy Im going to use Josie as an example.

Josie needs physical therapy for her knees. Well, she chose to go with Plan G because she knows her needs to frequently visit the doctor offices.

Since Josie has Plan G, she will pay her premium and the Part B deductible. If Josie has inpatient physical therapy, she wont pay anything other than her monthly premium.

But, with outpatient physical therapy, Josie will pay the Part B deductible. If Josie didnt have Medigap she could be responsible for deductibles and a portion of the bill.

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