Does Medicare Cover X-Rays?

Medicare Part B will cover X-rays in most cases. You generally pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for a diagnostic X-ray. Learn more about your coverage and what you can expect to pay.

Medicare Part B does cover diagnostic X-rays if your doctor or another health care provider determines they are medically necessary.

After you meet your yearly Medicare Part B deductible ($240in 2024), you will typically pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for the X-ray.

Learn more about how Medicare covers X-rays and other diagnostic services, as well as ways you may be able to save money on your Medicare health coverage costs.

How much does Medicare pay for X-rays?

There are two terms that may be helpful to know to better understand how Medicare pays for X-rays.

As mentioned above, if your X-ray is determined to be medically necessary, you will pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount.

  • Medically necessary
    If your doctor or another health care provider determine that your X-rays are medically necessary, this means that the X-rays are necessary to help diagnose an illness, injury, disease, condition or other symptoms.

    In other words, if you are being treated for an injury, illness or condition that is covered by Medicare, and if a doctor orders an X-ray as part of that treatment process, then Medicare Part B will help cover the cost of the X-ray.

  • Medicare-approved amount
    This is the amount of money that Medicare has decided it will pay a health care provider for a particular service or item. If the health care provider agrees to accept the Medicare-approved amount as full payment, this means that they accept Medicare assignment.

    If they choose not to accept the Medicare-approved amount as full payment, they may charge up to 15 percent more than the Medicare-approved amount. This is known as a Medicare Part B excess charge.

Medicare Part B may help cover some additional services related to your bone health and other health conditions that result in an X-ray.

Medicare Part B covers bone mass measurements

Part B will cover bone mass measurements once every 24 months (or more often if necessary) if you have an increased risk of osteoporosis.

If your X-rays show that you have possible osteoporosis, vertebral fractures or osteopenia, Medicare Part B will cover your bone mass measurements in full, as long as your doctor accepts Medicare assignment.

Medicare does not cover X-rays ordered by a chiropractor

Medicare Part B does not cover X-rays if they are ordered by a chiropractor. Your X-rays are only covered by Medicare when they are ordered by a medical doctor or other health care provider for diagnostic purposes.

Medicare Part B does cover some chiropractic services. Specifically, Medicare will help cover manual manipulation of your spine if it is medically necessary in treatment of a subluxation (when a bone or bones in your spine are out of position).

Medicare Advantage plans cover X-rays

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C), your X-rays will be covered in exactly the same way as someone with Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B).

A Medicare Advantage plan covers the same benefits offered by Original Medicare and can offer benefits not covered by Original Medicare. 

Are you happy with your Medicare coverage? Do you want to learn more about other options you may have? Call to speak with a licensed insurance agent and compare Medicare Advantage plans available where you live.

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About the author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

Christian has written hundreds of articles for that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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