Medicare Coverage of Acupuncture or Acupressure

What It Is

Acupuncture or Acupressure

What's Covered

Neither Medicare Part A nor Medicare Part B covers any acupuncture or acupressure, even if performed by a physician or other provider whose other medical services are covered by Medicare.

If you have a Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plan: If you have a Medicare Part C plan, also called a Medicare Advantage plan, it may cover services not covered by traditional Medicare Part A or Part B. To find out whether your Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plan provides some coverage for acupuncture or acupressure, and in what circumstances, contact the plan directly.

What Medicare Pays

Medicare pays nothing for acupuncture or acupressure. You must pay the full cost of any acupuncture or acupressure services you receive.

If your Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plan covers some acupuncture or acupressure, check with the plan itself to find out what its co-payments are for such treatments.

Important: Regardless of the rules regarding any particular type of care, in order for Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, or a Medicare Part C plan to provide coverage, the care must meet two basic requirements:

  • The care must be "medically necessary." This means that it must be ordered or prescribed by a licensed physician or other authorized medical provider, and that Medicare (or a Medicare Part C plan) agrees that the care is necessary and proper. For help getting your care covered, see FAQ: How Can I Increase the Odds That Medicare Will Cover My Medical Service?

  • The care must be performed or delivered by a healthcare provider who participates in Medicare.

Was this medicareinformation helpful?

10 Comments So Far. Add Your Wisdom.

about 1 month ago

I don't know if this has been changed or is just incorrect. In the 1990's I had insurance that covered acupuncture IF it was performed by an MD. I found a man who was both MD and acupuncturist. He had many patients for arthritis who were seniors and medicare was paying for their acupuncture. He said that medicare only covered acupuncture for a limited number of conditions that had been scientifically been proven to be alleviated by acupuncture. He also had to use some sort of electrode/wand that pinpointed points.

Anonymous said 5 months ago

Medicare should be ashamed!! No preventive services like Acupuncture?? Rather illness so drug companies flourish? Sad. Very sad.

about 1 year ago

Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plan covers some acupuncture but is silent on Medigap for a similar option.
 Is there a similar option for possible Medicare coverage when a medigap policy is used???

about 1 year ago

Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plan covers some acupuncture or acupressure how about medigap policies? It looks like medicare provides a window for advantage plans and closes the door for medigap.

over 1 year ago

Dr. Cheung: I am a physician with four specialty board trainning and certified by three (Emergency Medicine, Pain Management, Disability Analysis) and the Surgical Board that I completed seven years of training as resident and others. I have also four Fellowships with two life time membership. My wife and I both received "extremely" effective treatment by Dr. Chu (Manhatten, N.Y.) who was board certified as an MD and accupuncture. It relieved my neck pain and spasm (MRI's proof of HNP with osteoarthritis, much more satified than the conventional pills and traction. He didn't charge us a penny. If anything works for the HNP, the accupunctures did better); it is strange to hear that the Medicare do not pay for the accupuncture !

Anonymous said over 1 year ago

Are you kidding me??? No coverage for acupuncture or massage?? Only DRUGS or hospitals are you kidding me???? What the hell good is it then???

almost 2 years ago

do you cover acupuncture under medicare part c, in las vegas,nv?

about 2 years ago

Tricare for Life (TFL), for military health care, does Not cover acupuncture. "Federal law and regulation forbid TRICARE to pay for acupuncture." It is not health insurance. It is a "federal health benefits program created and governed by federal law," so benefits will not change unless Congress changes coverage.

about 2 years ago

Medicare telephone agents told us incorrectly that acupuncture was covered at 80% (on two separate telephone calls). said it wasn't. Caution people to ask Medicare telephone agents where in the annual Medicare book or on the webpage the information can be found. This website webpage is verified as accurate. Medicare does not cover it at all.

over 2 years ago

Kaiser health plans do cover medically recommended acupuncture, as a preventive to more expensive treatments. I would like to see Medicare be as far-sighted, though I understand cost restrictions. Thanks! M. Dalton, San Jose, CA


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