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Many people seek out chiropractic care to help get relief for musculoskeletal problems such as joint, neck, and back pain. In many cases, however, chiropractors and the care they provide are seen as being outside the realm of traditional medicine.
Which brings us to a common question many people have, “Does Medicare cover chiropractic visits?” In this article, we answer that question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of chiropractic visits and other helpful info.
Does Medicare Cover Chiropractic Visits?
The short answer is no. In most cases, Medicare will not cover the cost of your chiropractic visit. That said, there may be some situations where you can get some of 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 chiropractic care.
Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not provide coverage for chiropractic visits. There is pretty much just one exception where Medicare will cover a type of chiropractic treatment.
And that is if you have spinal subluxation. If this is the case, Medicare will likely cover your visit to a chiropractor. For Medicare Part B to provide coverage for your treatment for spinal subluxation, you will need an official diagnosis for the condition. Also, you will have to get treatment from a Medicare-enrolled chiropractor.
If Original Medicare covers your visit to the chiropractor, coverage will fall under Medicare Part B.
When it comes to chiropractic care, Medicare Part B only covers it if it treats an existing medical issue. That means they will not cover chiropractic care as a preventive or maintenance service. Medicare Part B will also not cover other services such as X Rays or massage therapy if you get any of those while at a visit to the chiropractor.
When it comes to treatment for spinal subluxation, Medicare Part B will cover 80 percent of the costs.
Part C Coverage for Chiropractic Visits
There are some Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) that provide coverage for chiropractic visits. Medicare Advantage plans cover everything Original Medicare covers as well as offer some additional benefits. However, coverage and out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on the specifics of your plan.
If your Medicare Part C plan offers coverage for chiropractic care, it is important to note that your chiropractor must be an in-network healthcare provider. Otherwise, your plan may not cover the costs.
If your plan does not offer coverage for chiropractic visits, you can try to find another plan that does. There are a number of Medicare Advantage plans available. And by asking around and/or doing some online research, you may find a plan that’s a better fit for your needs.
How Much Does A Visit To The Chiropractor Cost?
Chiropractic sessions tend to cost between $35 and $150 per session.
One of the main factors that affect the overall price of a chiropractic session is your location. In the South, the average cost of a chiropractic session is around $70. In the Midwest it only costs about $60 on average.
Prices also tend to be higher in bigger cities and lower in more rural areas.
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 glasses after cataract surgery?