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Does Medicare Cover Acupuncture

What is Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient Eastern art of healing. It uses ancient ideas of the meridians and energy flows of the body. They use small needles to release blockages and direct the energy where it is supposed to go. Some acupuncture practitioners also use acupressure points to massage, or may use cupping to release blockages. Acupuncturists must go to school for about four years to learn the art of acupuncture. They may also study other aspects of Chinese medicine like herbal remedies or even Qi Gong. Acupuncture has been around for millennia, and many people who try it believe that it is helpful.

Does Medicare Cover Acupuncture

Original Medicare consists of Medicare parts A & B but does not cover acupuncture at all. It is a disappointment to those who would like to get this unique form of treatment for whatever ails them, but that is the truth. If you want to get coverage for acupuncture through Medicare then you will need to get what is known as a Medicare Advantage plan. This type of Medicare plan will give you the option for certain types of extra coverages like acupuncture, dental and vision care. You will have to pay a higher premium for this coverage. This coverage is provided by private insurance companies who have contracts with Medicare to provide plans that cover both Medicare Parts A & B.

Medicare doesn’t cover acupuncture because it isn’t deemed that it is medically necessary. Medicare aims to cover only procedures that are medically necessary. This helps the program to save money and achieve cost effective planning and implementation.

What Can Acupuncture Treat

Acupuncture can treat a variety of conditions including mental health and general wellbeing. You can treat physical pain and internal problems as well. Some examples of things you can treat with acupuncture include depression, digestive issues and side effects from cancer treatments. The great thing about acupuncture is that it is pretty safe and easy to try as a patient.

If you are afraid of needles you will notice that the ones they use for acupuncture are very thin, so there is not much to be afraid of. If you have a blood disorder that causes a lack of clotting, or an immune problem in which your immune system is weakened, it’s probably a bad idea to get acupuncture.

While bleeding doesn’t usually happen, if you don’t have enough clotting power, you could bleed a lot from just a little prick. If you have an immune problem, even the sterile environment of the acupuncturist’s office may not be enough for you. If you have any allergy to metal you should also not try acupuncture before you find out what the needles are made out of.

Some acupuncture uses electric stimulation and if you have a pacemaker or internal electronic device you should definitely not use this.

Is Acupuncture Real?

Well, acupuncture really is a medical treatment that has been used in Eastern medicine for millennia. There are quite a few studies that show it can be effective for managing physical pain due to known or unknown injury or imbalance. While acupuncture practitioners agree that it can also be used to treat other conditions, others who are more scientifically minded say that more research is needed on these conditions. There are not so many known complications from acupuncture as long as you visit a sterile, professional and properly managed caregiver.

Finding the Right Acupuncturist

When you are trying to find an acupuncturist you should look online to find reviews to pick the right one. If you see good reviews that is a good sign. There are many review sites for this type of thing. The right acupuncturist may be a person of whatever gender you feel comfortable with; you may also prefer someone of a certain age or with a certain level of experience. If you’re looking for someone to help you with a specific condition, then you may want to find one who deals with that condition specifically.

How Do They Know

The US Government has actually done quite a bit of research as to the effectiveness of acupuncture. They are currently studying it to see if it can help with some situations like hot flashes caused by menopause. They are also seeing if acupuncture helps more or less than usual pain relief methods. Acupuncture may be dismissed by some as an unconventional treatment or even a spiritual endeavor but it actually is something that can really help if you are open minded enough to give it a shot. If you’ve been thinking of trying acupuncture but you are on Medicare and it’s not covered, some communities offer sliding scale acupuncture.


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