Does Medicare Pay For Acupuncture
Medicare is a federal health insurance program in the United States that primarily provides coverage for individuals who are 65 years old or older as well as certain younger individuals with disabilities. However when it comes to alternative therapies like acupuncture the coverage provided by Medicare can be a bit more complicated.
Understanding Medicare Coverage
Medicare is divided into different parts: Part A Part B Part C Part D. Each part covers different aspects of healthcare services. Medicare Part A is hospital insurance while Medicare Part B is medical insurance which includes coverage for doctor visits preventive services durable medical equipment.
If you are wondering if Medicare pays for acupuncture the short answer is no. Traditional acupuncture is not usually covered by Medicare as it is considered an alternative therapy. However there are exceptions to this rule.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage also known as Medicare Part C is an alternative to Original Medicare (Part A Part B) is offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer additional benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover including acupuncture.
Chronic Low Back Pain Coverage
As of January 2020 Medicare offers limited coverage for acupuncture treatments for chronic low back pain under specific circumstances. These circumstances include being enrolled in a clinical trial studying acupuncture for chronic low back pain or receiving acupuncture from a qualified non-physician practitioner in a qualified healthcare setting.
While traditional acupuncture is not typically covered by Medicare there are exceptions for certain Medicare Advantage plans limited coverage for chronic low back pain. It is essential for Medicare beneficiaries to review their specific coverage options to determine if acupuncture is included in their plan.