Does Medicare Cover Chiropractic Services in Australia?

Perth Chiropractic care is a popular form of treatment for various conditions, particularly those related to the musculoskeletal system. If you’ve ever found yourself searching for a “chiropractor near me” or looking into services like Oceanside Chiropractic Perth, you’re certainly not alone. However, one question that often comes up is whether Medicare covers chiropractic services in Australia. This blog post aims to provide a clear answer to this question and give you all the information you need about chiropractic coverage under Medicare.

Medicare and Chiropractic Care: The Basics

Medicare is Australia’s universal healthcare system, providing citizens and permanent residents with access to a wide range of health services at little or no cost. It covers many types of medical treatments, including some alternative therapies. However, when it comes to chiropractic care, the coverage isn’t as straightforward.

Under the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), chiropractic services are indeed covered, but only under specific circumstances. The MBS lists all the medical services subsidised by the Australian government through Medicare. For chiropractic treatments, these are generally limited to manual manipulation of the spine for certain conditions diagnosed by a medical practitioner.

The Role of Chronic Disease Management Program

One way that patients can access Medicare coverage for chiropractic servicesin Perth is through the Chronic Disease Management (CDM) program. This program allows patients with chronic (or terminal) medical conditions to access Medicare benefits for allied health services, which include chiropractic care.

If your doctor determines that you have a chronic medical condition and complex care needs requiring multidisciplinary care, they may develop a CDM plan for you. This plan can include up to five allied health services per calendar year, potentially including visits to a chiropractor.

Oceanside Chiropractic Perth and Other Private Practices

While some chiropractors may offer bulk billing (where the practitioner accepts the Medicare benefit as full payment for their service), many do not. This is particularly true for private practices like Oceanside Chiropractic Perth and other chiropractic clinics in Perth and across Australia.

In these cases, patients will typically need to pay for their chiropractic services upfront and then claim a portion of this cost back through Medicare. However, the amount that can be claimed back is often significantly less than the cost of the treatment, leaving patients with out-of-pocket expenses.

It’s also important to note that not all chiropractic services are covered under Medicare. For example, x-rays performed by a chiropractor are not eligible for a Medicare rebate unless they’re requested by a medical practitioner for a specific clinical reason.

Private Health Insurance: An Alternative or Supplement to Medicare

For those who frequently require chiropractic care or other allied health services not fully covered by Medicare, private health insurance can be an excellent investment. Many private health insurance policies offer coverage for chiropractic treatments, often providing higher rebates than those available through Medicare.

However, it’s crucial to carefully review any potential policy to understand what is and isn’t covered. Some policies may have limits on how much can be claimed per year or may only cover certain types of treatments.


In summary, while Medicare does provide some coverage for chiropractic services in Australia, it’s limited and often requires out-of-pocket expenses from patients. If you’re considering seeking treatment from a “chiro” or are already seeing one regularly – whether at Oceanside Chiropractic Perth or another clinic – it’s worth exploring your options with both Medicare and private health insurance to ensure you can access the care you need without breaking the bank.

Remember that every individual’s healthcare needs are unique. Always consult with healthcare professionals before making any decisions about your health and wellness journey.