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 ($198 in 2020), 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.
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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.
Medicare Part B may help cover some additional services related to your bone health and other health conditions that result in an X-ray.
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 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).
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. Many Medicare Advantage plans can also offer additional benefits not covered by Original Medicare, such as dental, hearing, vision, prescription drug coverage and certain at-home care services.
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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Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for MedicareAdvantage.com. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options.
His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.
Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.
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