Often, in the weeks following an injury or when the pain becomes too much to deal with, patients will seek the support of a chiropractor or acupuncture specialist. Both acupuncture and chiropractic care can treat moderate to high-level pain and discomfort.
However, one concern that always comes to mind is out-of-pocket expenses, which can add up. So naturally, this has Medicare beneficiaries wondering just how much of these treatment costs with their Medicare plan.
Medicare Coverage for Acupuncture & Chiropractic Services
Both of these methods of treatment can relieve pain or discomfort. Before looking into the cost difference between the two, you may consider what each form of treatment entails.
It is best to look further into both before deciding on the best option for you.
Does Medicare Cover Acupuncture
A rule of thumb is Medicare covers anything medically necessary. Acupuncture coverage through Medicare is in the proposal stage; hopefully, it combats the opioid epidemic. Medicare collects data on patients with severe back pain using acupuncture for treatment.
Unlike chiropractic care, acupuncture is not as much of a hands-on method for reducing pain. Acupuncture is inserting needles into the surface of the skin.
Acupuncture is a practice that stimulates certain parts of the body to alleviate pain, and can also help to treat several other medical health conditions.
Several acupuncture patients have reported that this treatment has helped cure their depression, anxiety, and several other mental and physical issues.
Again, like chiropractic care, acupuncture does come with some low risks. Acupuncture risks can include bleeding or bruising from the needles, infection, and in some cases, can stimulate labor for pregnant women.
Hopefully, soon, Medicare covers acupuncture. The good news is, Medicare does cover chiropractic care.
Chiropractic care is a very hands-on process. For chiropractic treatments, the doctor uses his or her hands to adjust the patients’ muscles and joints.
This is done to generate better movement to tight muscles and gain better usage of affected joints.
Neck pain, back pain, headaches, or anything that may disrupt the nervous system, are usually a common reason patients seek chiropractic care.
Patients who receive this form of treatment feel results immediately after leaving the appointment.
However, chiropractic care does come with a few possible risks. Amongst them, are risks of having a stroke or unintentionally adding pressure to the injury.
The risk is low with certified practitioners, but with the constant shifting of muscles and joints, you could end up being more susceptible to injury.
Medicare Coverage for Chiropractic Care
Yes, Medicare covers chiropractic services, if they are medically necessary. Luckily, Medicare currently has no cap on how many times you can see a doctor for chiropractic appointments.
Part B covers manual manipulation of the spine if it’s necessary to correct a subluxation.
If you have Medicare and don’t have any other additional insurance, you’re responsible for paying your Part B deductible.
There may be a requirement to pay for any additional tests by your chiropractic doctor. Coverage can include x-rays, any other physical or massage therapy, and even, coincidentally, acupuncture.
The specific amount of money owed will depend on several factors, including:
- Any insurance you have
- The facility
- How much your doctor charges.
Do not go into this treatment with no knowledge of the average estimate of payment. Talk to your doctor, and get all of your answers before committing to a specific recommendation they’ve made.
If you should decide to seek the help of a professional acupuncturist, it’s essential to understand prices for the entire process. Patients get the initial visit cost and forget any additional follow up appointments fees.
Find out how many appointments you’ll need to attend. If there are any additional costs, and how often you’ll need to attend follow-up visits.
Acupuncture and Chiropractic Coverage with Medigap
At this time, Medigap plans do not cover any costs that deal with acupuncture.
Plan C and Plan F cover 100% of your Part B deductible, on top of your 20% coinsurance. If you have one of those plans, any necessary chiropractic work has coverage, at no cost to you.
Does Medicare Advantage Cover Chiropractic and Acupuncture
When it comes to Medicare Advantage plans, we hit a bit of a grey area with coverage for chiropractic care or acupuncture treatment. Each Medicare Advantage plan is different from the next.
So one program may offer high fees and fewer benefits, while another offers low costs and more benefits.
At this point, it may be tough finding a Medicare Advantage provider that covers acupuncture. It may be worth looking into, though if it is something you genuinely feel is a priority for your health.
The same answer goes for chiropractic services. Although it is usually much more comfortable to come across, the prices and plans will vary.
At MedicareFAQ, we acknowledge that finding the right plan for you, with everything you are looking for, can be worrisome. But we are always here to help you find the best coverage for your medical needs.
If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact us today. To compare rates online now, click here.