If you or a loved one is on Medicare, you may have heard that chiropractic care services are not covered by these government benefits. While this is generally true, Medicare does make an exception for individuals who have a specific, singular condition. Those who have been diagnosed with vertebral subluxation are eligible for chiropractic care coverage to better manage this condition.
It is worth mentioning that while Medicare doesn’t cover tests or imaging ordered by a chiropractic professional, it does cover manual manipulation and many other services offered by chiropractors in order to ease their patients’ suffering and improve their quality of life. It is also worth mentioning that adults who suffer from challenging acute or chronic conditions may qualify for covered chiropractic care services through their primary or supplemental insurance providers extending beyond Medicare.
What Is Vertebral Subluxation?
Vertebral subluxation is a term used to describe a condition where the vertebrae in the spine are misaligned or functioning abnormally. This misalignment can disrupt the normal movement and balance of the spine, potentially affecting the nerves and surrounding tissues. Such disruptions can lead to discomfort, pain, or altered nerve function, which may impact overall health and wellness.
As an experienced Annapolis chiropractor – including those who practice at Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic – can confirm, chiropractors often focus on identifying and correcting these subluxations through various techniques, aiming to restore proper alignment and improve the body’s natural ability to heal and function. By addressing these spinal issues, a person’s nervous system can operate more effectively, promoting better health and well-being. It’s a holistic approach, emphasizing the body’s inherent recuperative abilities and the importance of maintaining spinal health for overall wellness.
Why Doesn’t Medicare Cover Other Services?
In 1972, a provision was inserted into a broader Medicare expansion statute that explicitly noted that chiropractic care would not be covered save for “manual manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation.” This limitation is understandably frustrating for many individuals who could benefit from coverage for chiropractic care for a host of other reasons. It is hoped that, given the medical profession’s advanced understanding of the benefits that chiropractic care provides, additional chiropractic care services will be covered by Medicare in the future.
In fact, there are multiple bills working their way through both chambers of Congress that would place chiropractors on the same “level” as medical doctors and doctors of osteopathic medicine for the purposes of Medicare coverage. Should these bills pass, Medicare patients would not only be able to seek chiropractic care for a variety of maladies, they would also be able to benefit from coverage for tests and imaging ordered by a chiropractor. As it stands today, a different member of a patient’s care team must order such testing in order for it to be covered, even for patients with vertebral subluxation.
Given that millions of seniors frequently struggle with back pain and a host of other physical challenges that could benefit from chiropractic care, it is hoped that these changes to Medicare laws will pass sooner rather than later.
BY: Mid Atlantic Spinal Rehab
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