Medicare and Chiropractic Treatment


If you are older and in need of medical care, you may wonder whether or not Medicare will pay for you to go to a chiropractor. In many cases it will. Anyone who has Medicare Part B is eligible to receive treatment at a licensed chiropractor's office. The one stipulation is that it must be medically determined to be necessary, and the chiropractor must be willing to accept payment from Medicare.

The required issue is that the treatment must be necessary to give remedy for a subluxation. This is a misalignment of the vertebrae in the spine and a chiropractor will use manipulation of the spine to correct it.

When visiting a chiropractor, patients will need to pay 20 percent of the amount that is approved by Medicare, as well as the deductible amount for Part B. You will be expected to pay for any tests or other services. This will include any massage therapy, and x-rays.

While Medicare will not pay for an x-ray ordered by a chiropractor, they will pay for one that is ordered by a doctor to determine if a subluxation is present. The doctor will also need to interpret it for it to be covered. The chiropractor is allowed to use an older x-ray, if needed, one that is up to a year old. Otherwise, they must use a physical exam to determine the presence of a subluxation.

It is important to realize that Medicare will only pay for a chiropractor's services when a subluxation of the spine is present. This means that many of the other services that a chiropractor offers will not be covered. This includes services such as: the initial physical exam, physical therapy, nutritional supplements, acupuncture, orthopedic devices, or any other treatments.

Medicare also places a limit on the number of times you may visit a chiropractor, one visit per day, unless a doctor determines a greater frequency is necessary. Chiropractic treatment may continue only as long as there is improvement.

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