Will Medicare Pay for Acupuncture?

As with any medical treatment or self-care endeavor, the issue of cost arises.

Do you have insurance, or are a self-pay patient?

Is your plan in-network, or out?

Do you have a copay?

It’s enough to stress out the best of us. But perhaps, Medicare can change that.

The Washington Post reports that the Department of Health and Human and Services has said that, “in response to the U.S. opioid crisis, HHS is focused on preventing opioid use disorder and providing more evidence-based non-pharmacologic treatment options for chronic pain.”

Acupuncture has long been known for its pain relieving effects, and it’s efficacy at treating chronic pain.

HHS said it hopes “to determine if acupuncture for [chronic low-back pain] is reasonable and necessary under the Medicare program.” They are researching, and a proposal is due this by July 15, with a final decision being made by Oct. 13.

If all goes well, acupuncture for chronic low back pain may end up being a covered benefit, as currently, Medicare covers, “injections, braces, implanted neurostimulators and chiropractic care as well as drugs for chronic low-back pain,” under certain conditions .