Does Medicare Cover Chiropractic

We are often asked is medicare cover chiropractic.  The short answer is yes.  However there are certain rules and requirements. Let’s break it down.  First Medicare covers the Chiropractor to treat Vertebral Subluxation. Vertebral Subluxation is when two or more vertebra become under stress or misaligned.  This misalignment can create stress on the nerves leaving and entering the spinal canal.  Chiropractors adjust these subluxation in the goal of restoring your health,  Medicare covers this care very well.


Requirements to Medicare Coverage

Medicare requires proof of the vertebral subluxation. There are a few ways that medicare accepts as ways to document the presence of vertebral subluxation.  First is through a chiropractic exam.  The second way is through imaging.

First let’s discuss the examinations.  The examination is preformed when a patient enters the clinic with a new complaint.  Let’s take the example of someone who hurts their lower back while shoveling snow in January.  Once you start your care your chiropractor will examine your lower back and create a diagnosis of Vertebral Subluxation. At this point there will be a care plan to help you recover.

Should you return in July after hurting your neck after watching fireworks this process will restart.  You will get another exam and care plan.  Again should you slip on the ice in November you would then get another exam and care plan.  This is the exam route of providing medicare with the evidence required for diagnosis a subluxation.


There is a second way to demonstrate evidence of vertebral subluxation.  Imaging can demonstrate subluxation care is needed.  Most Chiropractors will use x-ray.  However, some chiropractors have CT- Scanners or MRI.  All of these types of imaging are allowed.  The benefit of the imaging is they are good for one year.  So like before in the example of three injuries through the year, you would not need three images taken.  The first image would proved the proof for all three injuries.  This is why most chiropractors prefer the imaging.

The Catch

Here is the issue, Medicare does not cover the expense of the examinations or x-rays.  The patient must pay for 100% of the cost of both examination or the imaging.  Today there are efforts to correct this. Please visit www.chiropractic.org to learn how you can help.


First, check out the video link above. Secondly, go to our blog page.  Lastly, listen to our podcast.  And if you want to take the same supplements Dr Hulsebus takes click here to pick them up next time you’re in.