Medicare Does Not Cover Acupuncture

Do Not Mistake Acupuncture as a Covered Service

Medicare Does Not Cover Acupuncture

Original Medicare (Parts A & B) does not cover Acupuncture. Medicare generally only covers services that considered medically necessary. As of the date of this article, acupuncture is not a necessary service under Medicare. Medicare defines medical necessity as “Services or supplies that are needed for the diagnosis or treatment of your medical condition and meet accepted standards of medical practice”. Medicare does not cover acupuncture.

In looking for non-opioid solutions to pain management, acupuncture may be an alternative to pills.

Acupuncture is more in the spotlight now than ever before. It is becoming popular in the United States. Although having been a treatment for thousands of years in China, it has only recently been in  Medicare. Some think of it as a partial solution to our nations Opioid Crisis. In response to the crisis, CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) created a National Coverage Analysis. The goal of the analysis to examine the benefit claims of Acupuncture and determine if it should be deemed a medically necessary procedure. The expected completion date of the analysis is in October 2019.

Acupuncture is a method of relieving chronic body pain by thin needles inserted into the skin. Patients claim it reduces pain in the lower back, knees, and neck. It may also help with headaches and chronic joint pain from osteoarthrosis. Therefore, acupuncture may very well be a good treatment option for the opioid crisis. (Some patients have even reported Acupuncture has helped some mental issues including anxiety and depression.)

As mentioned, Original Medicare does not cover Acupuncture.

Likewise, Medicare Supplement Reno plans (because they are designed to cover the gaps in Original Medicare coverage) do not cover it.

However, Medicare Advantage Reno plans may cover acupuncture. Medicare Advantage plans must cover all the same benefits that Original Medicare covers, but they sometimes cover additional services. You’ll need to check the Summary of Benefits for any Medicare Advantage plan. This will tell you if it has coverage for acupuncture or other benefits not covered by Original Medicare.

We offer one-on-one meetings, without any cost to you. You can receive a thorough understanding of the benefits of a Medicare Advantage plan. In addition, we help our clients throughout the year with any problems they face.