Does Medicare pay For Acupuncture? This Review Reveals What They Cover.
Medicare is health insurance for people 65 or older. You’re first eligible to sign up for Medicare 3 months before you turn 65. You may be eligible to get Medicare earlier if you have a disability, End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or ALS (also called Lou Gehrig’s disease).
It is important to understand what Medicare is willing to cover, so we don’t have a big bill afterward.
Acupunture: Effective… Wholelistic… Affordable…
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain. Increasingly, it is being used for overall wellness, including stress management.
Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as chi or qi (chee) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.
In contrast, many Western practitioners view acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue. Some believe that this stimulation boosts your body’s natural painkillers.
What Medicare Covers For Acupuncture
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers up to 12 acupuncture visits in 90 days for chronic low back pain.
Medicare covers an additional 8 sessions if you show improvement. If your doctor decides your chronic low back pain isn’t improving or is getting worse, then Medicare won’t cover your treatments. No more than 20 acupuncture treatments can be given yearly.
|Medicare doesn’t cover acupuncture (including dry needling) for any condition other than chronic low back pain.|
Your costs in Original Medicare
Costs details aren’t yet available for this benefit.
Acupuncture is a technique where practitioners stimulate specific points on the body, most often by inserting thin needles through the skin. Things to know
Chronic low back pain is defined as:
- Lasting 12 weeks or longer
- Having no known cause (not related to cancer that has spread, inflammatory, or infectious disease)
- Pain not associated with surgery or pregnancy
You must get acupuncture from a doctor, or by another health care provider (like a nurse practitioner or physician assistant) who has both of these:
- A masters or doctoral level degree in acupuncture or Oriental Medicine from a school accredited by the Accreditation Commission on Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
- A current, full, active, and unrestricted license to practice acupuncture in the state where care is being provided
For more information on Acupuncture coverage (medicare.gov)