Does Medicare Cover Music Therapy?

Reviewed and Updated by Anastasia Iliou,

Have you considered trying out music therapy? Music therapy is a form of psychological healing. Even ancient civilizations used music as a form of healing!

It’s possible because different aspects of music, like the pitch and rhythm, affect different parts of your brain. It can help those with anything from depression to Alzheimer’s and everything in between. If you have Medicare, you may wonder, “Does Medicare cover music therapy?”

Medicare Coverage for Music Therapy

Does Medicare Cover Music Therapy? | Medicare Plan Finder
Does Medicare Cover Music Therapy? | Medicare Plan Finder

Medicare covers music therapy under certain conditions. For example, Medicare Part B (medical insurance) may cover music therapy as part of a mental health treatment plan. 

Music therapy by a licensed music therapist is considered a reimbursable service with Medicare under Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP). This means that as long as your music therapy services are prescribed by a doctor, are documented on a treatment plan, and are reasonably necessary, Medicare may cover the service. You may be responsible for coinsurance or deductibles.

Medicare Advantage Alternative Therapy Coverage

Because music therapy is an alternative form of medicine, the most basic plans may not cover it.

Some private insurance policies called Medicare Advantage plans can cover music therapy along with other alternative therapies such as acupuncture and chiropractic care.

We can help you find out if you can get coverage for music therapy. Give us a call at 1-833-438-3676 or contact us here.

Find Medicare Plans | Medicare Plan Finder
Find Medicare Plans | Medicare Plan Finder

How Does Music Therapy Work?

Licensed music therapists are trained in both music and psychology. They know which parts of the brain need stimulation for healing and know how to encourage it. It works differently for everyone.

When it comes to memory loss, a music therapist may encourage a patient to listen to songs from their past. Music releases certain hormones that can induce memory and remind us of other times that we’ve heard the same music. It can help patients recover memories they may have thought were lost.

When it comes to pain relief, a music therapist might encourage a patient to listen to calm, soothing sounds. When it comes to depression and mental illness, a music therapist might encourage a patient to learn to play an instrument or to express themselves by writing music.

What Does Music Therapy Help?

You may be surprised by the number of conditions that music therapy can help with! These are just a few examples:

  • Heart Health: Music therapy can improve blood pressure levels by reducing stress hormones. Your body responds to the rate of the music.
  • Memory Loss: Music therapists often visit nursing homes and hospitals to care for Alzheimer’s patients or others who are suffering from memory loss. Music can improve cognitive functions.
  • Fetal Development: Research has proven that babies who listen to music while in the womb are born more responsive. Those babies typically develop faster, sleep better, and bond better with their parents.
  • Depression: Music can induce feelings of happiness by releasing happy hormones like dopamine. It also allows depressed patients to focus their energy.
  • Mental Disabilities: Individuals with autism are commonly music therapy patients. It’s a great way for them to practice communication and creativity.
  • Pain Management: Music can increase oxytocin levels (love hormone), which is very similar to what pain medications do but without the addictive qualities. Music therapy provides a great alternative to over-medication.

How to Find a Music Therapist

If you’re looking for a music therapist in your area, click here. You’ll reach the search tool for the American Music Therapy Association. From there, enter your city in the bar beside the green arrow. Then select your state from the drop-down menu beside the blue arrow. We chose Nashville, Tennessee because that’s the location of our home office. Once you’ve completed that, click “Search” beside the red arrow.

How to Find a Music Therapist Step 1 | Medicare Plan Finder
How to Find a Music Therapist Step 1 | Medicare Plan Finder

Then you’ll reach a list of music therapists in your area with contact info. You may need to call more than one to find the right fit.

How to Find a Music Therapist Step 2 | Medicare Plan Finder
How to Find a Music Therapist Step 2 | Medicare Plan Finder

Find Coverage for Music Therapy Today

A licensed agent with Medicare Plan Finder may be able to help you find an insurance plan that fits your needs.

Depending on what plans are available in your area, you may be able to find one that covers music therapy along with supplemental benefits such as vision, hearing, dental, and fitness classes! To set up a no-cost, no-obligation appointment, call us at 833-438-3676 or contact us here today.

Contact Us | Medicare Plan Finder
Contact Us | Medicare Plan Finder

This post was originally published on February 15, 2018, and updated on October 2, 2019.

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