As many medicare beneficiaries opt out of straight medicare to go with an alternative insurance, acupuncture benefits are more and more creeping into what is covered. Let me back up for those of you unfamiliar with medicare plans….
First of all, medicare does NOT cover acupuncture. When you become medicare aged, you have the option of keeping straight medicare OR opting out of it, and going with another insurance in it’s place. So, whatever monies the government pays for a person for medicare, they instead pay the health insurance. Many insurance companies now have Senior plans which can replace traditional medicare. In doing so, some may now offer acupuncture coverage. For along time, most did not. But starting this year, more have added acupuncture as a benefit. As always , call and verify a persons coverage.
In many other cases, however, and this is where it can get confusing, someone has a SUPPLEMENTAL insurance. This means that they have medicare and a secondary insurance, 9 times out of 10 it ONLY covers what medicare allows, pays the patients deductibles and co-pays, etc. Since medicare doesn’t cover acupuncture, neither would a supplemental. So, this would be the first question on a call to a medicare aged patient’s insurance, IS THIS SUPPLEMENTAL TO MEDICARE or is this policy in lieu of medicare benefits and, if so, are there acupuncture benefits.
I thought it was important to mention this, I know it can be confusing, but I’ve seen more insurance covering acupuncture for patients aged 65 and older and so I wanted to put that out there. I’m expecting questions regarding this…