Enter your e-mail address below to receive the latest news about Medicare coverage and plans
Does Medicare Pay for Alternative Therapies?
Alternative Therapy, also know as Alternative Medicine, is currently not covered by Medicare. These therapies include homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, holistic therapies, midwifery and herbal medicine. In addition, Medicare does not cover Complementary Medicine. Complementary Medicine often incorporates the use of spiritual, metaphysical, and newly invented approaches to healing, as well as pre-modern medical practices.
You pay 100% of Alternative Therapy expenses.
CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) published an article pertaining to the practice of acupuncture. Among other things, the article states:
"Although acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in China and for decades in parts of Europe, it is still a relatively new agent of unknown use and efficacy in the United States. Even in those areas of the world where it has been widely used, its mechanism is not known. Three units of the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, and Fogarty International Center have been designated to assess and identify specific opportunities and needs for research attending the use of acupuncture for surgical anesthesia and relief of chronic pain." Until the pending scientific assessment of the technique has been completed and its efficacy has been established, Medicare reimbursement for acupuncture, as an anesthetic or as an analgesic or for other therapeutic purposes, may not be made. Accordingly, acupuncture is not considered reasonable and necessary within the meaning of §1862(a)(1) of the Social Security Act.
For more information, please visit the CMS website at http://www.cms.gov.