covers up to 12 acupuncture visits in 90 days for chronic low back pain. Chronic low back pain is defined as:
- Lasting 12 weeks or longer
- Having no known cause (not related to cancer that has spread, inflammatory, or infectious disease)
- Pain not associated with surgery or pregnancy
Medicare covers an additional 8 sessions if you show improvement. If your doctor decides your chronic low back pain isn’t improving or is getting worse, then Medicare won't cover your treatments. No more than 20 acupuncture treatments can be given yearly.
Medicare doesn't cover acupuncture for any condition other than chronic low back pain.
Costs details aren’t yet available for this benefit.
Acupuncture is a technique where practitioners stimulate specific points on the body, most often by inserting thin needles through the skin.
Acupuncture must be given by a doctor, or by another health care provider (like a nurse practitioner or physician assistant) who has both of these:
- A masters or doctoral level degree in acupuncture or Oriental Medicine from a school accredited by the Accreditation Commission on Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
- A current, full, active, and unrestricted license to practice acupuncture in the state where care is being provided