Does Medicare Cover Back Surgery?

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • Find out if Medicare covers back surgery and learn what other options might be available to help you pay for out-of-pocket expenses related to your treatment.

If your doctor deems that back surgery is medically necessary due to an injury or illness, Medicare will typically help cover the expense. 

Back surgery is normally covered under Medicare Part A and Part B. These components of Medicare, known as Original Medicare, provide funding for hospital stays, skilled nursing and procedures that are performed by qualified medical practitioners, as well as follow-up visits with your surgeon or primary care physician.

In most cases, that means surgery must be prescribed by a medical doctor — a chiropractor is generally not authorized to determine whether your surgery is required.

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Talk to a licensed agent today to find a plan that fits your needs.

Types of Back Surgeries Covered By Medicare


  • Laser spine surgery: Laser spine surgery may be covered by Medicare when it's determined to be medically necessary by your doctor.

  • Disc replacement surgery: Disc replacement is typically only covered by Medicare when it's for a beneficiary who is 60 years of age or younger. This type of surgery must be approved by a Medicare Administrative Contractor before it can be covered.

  • Spinal fusion surgery: This is the most common type of back surgery and is typically covered by Medicare when it's deemed medically necessary. 

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

As with any Medicare claim, you might be required to pay a portion of your cost out of your own pocket. While many components of your care are generally covered by Medicare Part A and Part B, most plans have deductibles, copayments or coinsurance that you need to cover yourself.

Additionally, if you need prescription medications to manage pain or prevent infection, you may have to pay for these unless you have Medicare Part D benefits for prescription drugs. 

What Are Some Ways to Pay for the Cost for Back Surgery?

While Medicare Part A and Part B can provide assistance with back surgery costs, you might be able to access additional benefits if you're also enrolled in Medicaid or Medicare Advantage.

Does Medicaid Pay for Back Surgery?

Some Medicare beneficiaries are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. When this happens, you can take advantage of benefits from both plans. While Medicaid generally covers the same portion of costs that your Medicaid plan does, you might be able to combine your benefits to reduce out-of-pocket expenses.

Christian Worstell
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.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles 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. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

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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