Medicare: Does It Cover Acupuncture?

Medicare: Does It Cover Acupuncture?

For many years Medicare refused to acknowledge acupuncture as a viable treatment option for any medical condition. Acupuncture is a healing method used for over 2,500 years in China. It uses hair-thin needles that are inserted in the skin at specific points along a network of meridians within the body. The needles stimulate the energy flow, bringing it back into balance and promoting healing.

Different Types of Acupuncture

There are many different types of acupuncture in use today. Traditional Chinese acupuncture, dry-needling, cupping, and electro-acupuncture are all covered by Medicare. Why the sudden reversal by Medicare? Opioids were, at one time, the most common treatment option for various types of pain. As time passed and the reviews were released, it became apparent that drug misuse escalated right along with the use of the medications. An alternative was needed to fight chronic pain and acupuncture was the top choice.

Lower Back Pain

While Medicare covers all forms of acupuncture, only one health condition is allowed to be covered. Lower back pain is the most commonly treated health condition in the country. More people miss work/school due to chronic lower back pain than any other health condition. Treating lower back pain with several acupuncture methods offered reliable relief without the patient having to take opioids to control their pain. The use of acupuncture reduced the need for opioids and provided patients with a natural treatment option.

Eligibility for Coverage

For a patient to qualify for acupuncture coverage, the recipient must experience chronic low back pain for at least 12 weeks or longer. Their pain must not be associated with surgery or systemic cause. To qualify, you must see a doctor who is willing to prescribe acupuncture as a viable treatment option. Your doctor will be the one to file any claims for treatment with Medicare.

Treatment Plans

For acupuncture to be covered, the treatments you receive must be administered by a medical professional with the same qualifications as a physician. This includes doctors, nurse practitioners, a physician’s assistant, or a medical professional who is licensed by the state to practice acupuncture. For your treatment to be covered, you will need to find a practitioner who accepts Medicare as a payment form.

Need the Best Plan for Medicare Insurance? Contact Us!

If you are one of the many people who suffer from low back pain, you may qualify for acupuncture treatment that Medicare covers. Contact the agents at Steve Wilk Insurance Agency to learn more about Medicare’s coverage for acupuncture. We can determine whether or not you qualify and help you get the relief you need.