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Medicare and Chiropractic Care: What’s Covered?

Chiropractors are medical professionals who perform techniques to adjust the spine and fix misalignments that may be causing back problems. As research tells us, spinal adjustments are a useful way to treat chronic and serious neck and back pain. Since chiropractic care is growing in popularity, more folks want to know whether Medicare will cover the treatments. Trusted Senior Specialists has the answer.

Medicare Chiropractic Coverage in a Nutshell

Medicare has a select criteria for covering chiropractic procedures. Part B, which is your medical insurance, will cover chiropractic services, but other plans may contribute, too. Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medigap policies can help pay for treatments — but you must pick either MA or Medigap. 

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Which Parts of Medicare Cover Chiropractic Care?

Part A

Medicare Part A doesn’t pay for chiropractic visits. This is because Part A is your hospital insurance, and chiropractic care is a service that usually takes place in a doctor’s office. It’s worth noting, though, that some chiropractors have hospital privileges. 

Part B

Medicare Part B covers medically necessary services and treatments, plus preventative care. It will pay for spinal manipulation (alignment) as long as it’s an approved medical treatment for spinal subluxation (misalignment). Different conditions may require different amounts of treatments — which may affect coverage. The good news is that Part B will cover 80% of the cost of treatment once you’ve hit your yearly deductible. 

Note: If your chiropractor orders X-rays, Medicare won’t cover these. 

Part C

Part C, or Medicare Advantage, are alternate plans offered by private insurance carriers. These plans act as your main insurance and may cover additional treatments that Original Medicare doesn’t. 

Some advantage programs may pay for chiropractic care, but it will vary by plan. Some plans may cover treatments other than spinal manipulation. 

Medigap Insurance

Medicare Supplement plans, or Medigap policies, are insurance that you buy in addition to Original Medicare. These plans can help pay copays and deductibles, among other expenses. 

If you’re enrolled in Original Medicare and are approved for chiropractic care, you’re still responsible for 20% of the cost. If you’ve purchased a Medigap policy, it would cover this expense. 

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Spinal Subluxation Symptoms 

Spinal subluxations can be damaging to your health. Common symptoms of this include:

  • Sharp headaches 
  • Neck or back pain
  • Unable to move

Medicare Enrollment Tips for Chiropractic Care

If chiropractic treatment is needed, make sure the plan you’re looking at includes chiropractic care. It’s also a good idea to see if your chiropractor is Medicare-approved and included in the plan’s network. 

Also, save the date for Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). It goes from October 15 to December 7 every year, and allows you to sign up for or make changes to your health coverage.

For more questions about what Medicare covers, or to buy a plan, contact Trusted Senior Specialists today.