Whenever Original Medicare states that they do not provide coverage for certain services, they sometimes include allowances. For example, they will provide coverage for a chiropractic service if it is medically necessary.  So what about a chiropractic massage? Is it medically necessary? 

Or to put it another way, “does Medicare cover chiropractic massage?” In this article, we answer that question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of a chiropractic massage.

Does Medicare Cover Chiropractic Massage?

The short answer is no. In most cases, Medicare will not cover the cost of chiropractic massage. That said, there may be some situations where you can get these costs covered. Below we’ll take a closer look at this to see when you might be able to get Medicare to pay for your chiropractic massage. 

Original Medicare

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not provide coverage for chiropractic massage. So that means you will have to pay 100 percent for your chiropractic massage. Most of the time Original Medicare does not provide coverage for chiropractic services. Medicare also considers massage therapy as an alternative and complementary treatment.

The only chiropractic service that Original Medicare covers is spinal manipulation for back pain. Even though Original Medicare does not provide coverage for chiropractic massage, they provide coverage for other similar treatments such as physical therapy and acupuncture

Part C Coverage for Chiropractic Massage

However, many Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) provide coverage for chiropractic massage. Medicare Advantage have to cover everything Original Medicare covers. But they will also offer additional coverage for things Original Medicare does not. The specifics of what they cover and how much your out-of-pocket costs will be depend on the plan.

In 2019, the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services allowed Medicare Part C to provide coverage for massage therapy. There are now about 270 Medicare Part C plans that provide coverage for massage therapy.

However, not all Medicare Part C plans include a massage therapy benefit, so it is best to check your plan first or check the plan benefits first if you are going to enroll in a Medicare Part C plan. If your Medicare Part C plan provides coverage for massage therapy, there are some conditions you have to follow. These conditions consist of the following:

  • If you need treatment for a condition that is related to an injury or illness such as chronic pain
  • Your in-network healthcare provider has to order or prescribe your massage therapy
  • Your state-licensed massage therapist is registered in your plan’s network and has a National Provider Identifier

Medicare Part C plans that do offer this coverage usually cover 100 percent of the costs of massage therapy. 

How Much Does A Chiropractic Massage Cost?

A chiropractic massage usually costs somewhere between $30 and $70. This cost varies depending on the provider.

Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Always be sure to double check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.

Additional Info on Medicare Coverage

This article is part of our series on “What does Medicare cover?”

Also, you can check out other articles in this series including: Does Medicare cover allergy immunotherapy?

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