Acupuncture has been practiced in East Asian countries for centuries but has become popular in the United States more recently. In fact, more than 10 million acupuncture treatments are administered each year in the US.
These treatments can help reduce stress, back pain, neck tension, and joint pain. However, your out-of-pocket costs can add up quickly, so you may be wondering… does Medicare cover acupuncture?
Original Medicare and Acupuncture
Medicare’s primary goal is to cover medically necessary health expenses. For example, Original Medicare (Part A and B) covers physical, occupational, and speech therapy because they are crucial to your health.
As of right now, acupuncture is not considered to be medically necessary, so it is not covered by Original Medicare, but you may be able to get acupuncture coverage in another way.
Do Medicare Supplements Cover Acupuncture?
A Medicare Supplement plan is a great way to add financial benefits to your Medicare coverage. These benefits help cover copayments and coinsurance.
However, these plans are designed to work alongside Original Medicare. Since Original Medicare does not cover acupuncture, Medicare Supplement plans won’t help cover the cost. Instead, a Medicare Supplement plan can help reduce your healthcare costs overall.
Do Medicare Advantage Plans Cover Acupuncture?
Medicare Advantage plans offer several benefits that Original Medicare does not. They are still regulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) but are provided through private health insurance companies.
These plans are still required to cover, at a minimum, everything that Original Medicare does, but they have the freedom to include additional benefits. This means that some Medicare Advantage plans can offer acupuncture coverage, but they are not required to provide this benefit.
Aside from acupuncture, Medicare Advantage plans often offer other benefits like hearing, dental and vision coverage, a monthly OTC pharmacy allowance, non-emergency transportation, and group fitness classes like Silver Sneakers. Click here to get in contact with a licensed agent to discuss Medicare Advantage plans available in your area.
How can a Medicare MSA Plan Help?
A Medicare Medical Savings Account, or MSA, is similar to a Health Savings Account but is a type of Medicare Advantage plan.
MSAs are different from other types of Medicare Advantage plans in that they typically do not cover prescription drugs. However, some Medicare MSA plans cover acupuncture.
This is an excellent option if you are healthy, not taking expensive prescriptions, and are more worried about cost savings than receiving additional benefits.
What is the Average Cost of Acupuncture Treatments?
If you do not have a Medicare Advantage plan with acupuncture coverage, your out-of-pocket costs can add up quickly. The average price of acupuncture treatments are similar nationwide but can vary depending on your location.
Your initial visit can range between $75 and $100. This visit usually costs more because the practitioner will review your health, medical history, and current medications.
Routine treatments after your initial visit can range from $50 to $70. Some clinics may offer discounts or deals to frequent customers, so be sure to shop around.
Benefits of Acupuncture
According to the University of California San Diego, acupuncture is an “effective treatment” for a variety of health issues such as:
- Allergy symptoms such as hay fever
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Knee pain
- Lower back pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Neck pain
- Postoperative pain
- Renal colic
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Tennis elbow
Get Acupuncture Coverage
If you want acupuncture coverage and general cost savings, a Medicare Advantage plan may be the way to go. In fact, more than 20.4 million beneficiaries are taking advantage of the benefits that MA plans offer.
Ready to learn more? Our agents can offer most major plans in your state! This means that you can enroll in the MA plan that best fits your needs and budget. Call us at 833-438-3676 or fill out this form to arrange a no-cost, no-obligation appointment with an agent in your area.