Does Medicare pay for chiropractic care?

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Does Medicare pay for chiropractic care?

Overview of Chiropractic Care and Medicare coverage

In short, Medicare Part B will cover services from a licensed chiropractor, but only to treat a misalignment of the vertebrae resulting in interference to the nerve flow, known as subluxation. Specifically, Medicare covers the manual manipulation (spinal adjustment) when it is considered medically necessary to fix this misalignment.

Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover continuing chiropractic care – or maintenance – after the initial realignment. In other words, Medicare has no limit to the number of chiropractic visits covered, however the program will only cover medically necessary spinal manipulation (adjusting the spinal bones to the proper position) to correct subluxation. It will not cover preventative chiropractic therapy that could stop the subluxation from happening again.

Chronic lower back pain may be covered under Medicare if the condition is considered severe enough that it requires medical attention (aka treatment for it is deemed medically necessary). At the same time, Medicare may pay for eligible diagnostic tests.

How to find a qualified chiropractor covered by Medicare

Finding a qualified chiropractor that is covered by Medicare can be a daunting task due to the numerous practitioners available. One of the best places to start your search is with Medicare’s provider directory, which has an up-to-date list of approved chiropractors who are considered eligible providers or have participated in part B of Medicare. You can also ask your primary care doctor for recommendations, as they often have relationships with preferred providers that are covered by Medicare.

Chiropractic care with Medicare Supplemental or Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage plans must cover at least the same chiropractic services as original Medicare, but copayments and deductibles may vary. And in some cases, a Medicare Advantage plan may offer more chiropractic coverage than Original Medicare. Medigap plans will usually cover all or part of the Part B coinsurance cost, but again, it’s best to speak to an Insurance Professionals of Arizona specialist before enrolling in a plan.

In Arizona, there are a multitude of different Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans that offer some level of chiropractic care, but costs and coverage can widely vary. IPA Medicare agents can help you go over the fine print of each option to help determine which might be the best policy for you and your chiropractic needs.

If you currently are still using private health insurance, VA benefits or Medicaid, you should try to find out what exactly those benefits cover, and for how much. Again, an IPA agent can help you should you need to determine whether you need additional coverage, or if there are alternatives that can save you on costs.

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