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Does Medicare Cover Chiropractic Care?

Many people swear by chiropractic care, especially individuals with body pains. To avoid prescription drug costs and expensive surgeries, individuals are turning to chiropractic care in larger numbers each year. With many people believing that chiropractic care helps get to the root of the problem rather than just treating symptoms, some people are surprised to hear that the Medicare system does not offer as much coverage for the service than it does for many other types of services.


Being aware of what to look for in your Medicare plans is important, and it is also essential to know which bills you will be responsible for covering and which ones will be partially covered by the plans that you select. Visiting the Medicare website and reading what is under the section about chiropractic care leaves a lot of people confused, making the tools and resources on this site vital.


What Chiropractic Care Does Medicare Cover?


It can be confusing figuring out what is covered and what is not when it comes to chiropractic care through the Medicare program. The actual wording of coverage states that “Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers manual manipulation of the spine if medically necessary to correct a subluxation when provided by a chiropractor or other qualified provider.”


In more simple terms, Medicare covers people for the chiropractic adjustment, but not anything else. Additionally, in order for the program to help cover the costs for that adjustment, an active problem needs to be confirmed. This includes things like chronic lower back pain. Even when Medicare approves coverage for your chiropractic care, you will still be responsible for 20% of the costs, and the Medicare Part B deductible will still apply. Medicare Part B coverage pays for 80% of Medicare-approved services after the deductible is paid.


The other confusing part about whether Medicare covers chiropractic care stems from only the adjustments being covered. Many things can happen at a chiropractor office that are not covered. This can include things like x-rays, maintenance care, massage therapy, acupuncture, and preventative wellness. Most chiropractors will do an x-ray in order to list the levels of the spine. They also use this x-ray to see how the doctor diagnosed the issues. Medicare will not pay for that x-ray, meaning that it is the patient’s responsibility to pay for this part of the service.


Fortunately for people interested in chiropractic care, it is very affordable overall. The expenses are way lower than emergency room bills. Many offices also offer ways for people to save money through payment plans.


Should Medicare Step Up And Pay For Chiropractic Care?


Many people think that Medicare should pay for chiropractic care. There have been studies released by reputable organizations showing that patients that have had chiropractic care have reported that their pain has lessened at a higher rate than regular medical patients. With professionals saying that the current Medicare coverage incentivizes people to seek out regular medical care but not chiropractic care, and that this sort of care should be better covered, some insurance providers are reevaluating their coverage.


Additionally, some patients do not want to have to take medications and are looking for other options. In terms of Medicare, medical necessity is a major concept that determines what the program will cover. There is no specific definition or application for the term medical necessity, however. This makes it difficult to apply consistently over the plethora of situations.


If you are looking for chiropractic care, keep in mind that it is relatively affordable to begin with in comparison to other types of care. Find the best plans here and get covered for your insurance needs today.