Can Medicare Cover X-Rays?

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Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides coverage for eligible individuals aged 65 and older, as well as individuals with certain disabilities. Medicare is comprised of different parts, namely Part A, Part B, Part C (Medicare Advantage), and Part D (prescription drug coverage). The coverage for X-rays under Medicare varies depending on the specific part of Medicare.

  1. Medicare Part A Coverage for X-Rays: Medicare Part A primarily covers inpatient hospital care, including necessary X-rays as part of the overall treatment. If you are admitted to a hospital or a skilled nursing facility, the cost of X-rays would typically be covered under Part A. However, it’s important to note that Part A coverage may not extend to X-rays conducted on an outpatient basis.
  2. Medicare Part B Coverage for X-Rays: Medicare Part B is the medical insurance component that covers outpatient services, including diagnostic tests like X-rays. Under Part B, X-rays are generally covered if they are deemed medically necessary by your healthcare provider. Medically necessary X-rays may include those conducted for diagnosing or monitoring various conditions such as fractures, pneumonia, or lung infections.
  3. Medicare Advantage Coverage for X-Rays: Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Part C, are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. These plans provide the same coverage as Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) and may offer additional benefits. The coverage for X-rays under Medicare Advantage plans is typically the same as the coverage provided by Original Medicare.
  4. Medicare Part D Coverage for X-Rays: Medicare Part D focuses on prescription drug coverage and does not directly cover the cost of X-rays. However, if you require medication following an X-ray, Part D may cover the cost of the prescribed medication.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

While Medicare covers a significant portion of X-ray costs, it’s important to be aware of potential out-of-pocket expenses that you may incur.

  1. Deductibles: Both Medicare Part A and Part B have deductibles that you must meet before coverage begins. These deductibles may apply to X-rays as well. For example, in 2023, the Part B deductible is $203, which means you would be responsible for paying the first $203 of X-ray costs.
  2. Coinsurance or Copayments: After meeting the deductible, you may still be responsible for coinsurance or copayments for X-rays. The exact amount depends on your specific Medicare plan. It’s advisable to review your plan’s Summary of Benefits or contact your plan provider to understand the coinsurance or copayment requirements for X-rays.


Medicare provides coverage for X-rays under certain circumstances. Medicare Part A covers inpatient X-rays, while Medicare Part B covers outpatient X-rays that are deemed medically necessary. Medicare Advantage plans offer similar coverage to Original Medicare, and Medicare Part D may cover prescribed medications following X-rays. However, it’s important to be mindful of deductibles, coinsurance, or copayments that may apply to X-ray services. By understanding the coverage provided by Medicare, you can make informed decisions about your healthcare needs.

Key Points to Remember:

  • Medicare Part A covers inpatient X-rays, while Part B covers outpatient X-rays that are medically necessary.
  • Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage similar to Original Medicare.
  • Medicare Part D focuses on prescription drug coverage, not X-rays.
  • Deductibles and coinsurance/copayments may apply to X-rays.

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