Medicare Can Help You Manage Pain

If you have Medicare, you can take advantage of the options available to help you manage your pain more effectively. Besides the pain medications covered by your prescription drug coverage (part D), there is also Medicare Part B with services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral health, and spinal manipulation if medically necessary.

It’s important that prior to taking opioids, you talk to your doctor about other pain treatment options such as exercise, occupational therapy, and non-prescription drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen. These services carry fewer long-term risks than prescription opioids such as hydrocodone, morphine, codeine, and hydrocodone, which can also be prescribed to relieve mild to severe pain.

Opioids are generally prescribed after an injury or surgery, or to patients suffering from chronic health conditions. While these prescriptions are a vital part of treatment, they also carry more risks such as addiction, overdose, and even death in some cases. It’s often advised that if you need opioids for pain management, you also ask your doctor about an overdose-reversing drug called naloxone, which is also covered by Medicare.

Medicare may cover pain management based on your specific situation. A Medicare Advantage (Part C) may also cover pain management services. There isn’t, however, a standard way for Medicare to cover pain management since chronic pain is caused by many conditions or injuries that may require different types of treatment.

Medicare part B may cover multiple procedures and even physical therapy when it’s medically necessary. Usually, Medicare part B covers 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for doctors’ services that are covered under Medicare. You may have to pay 20% after your Part B deductible is met. If you undergo an inpatient procedure that involves a hospital stay, the hospital expenses may be covered by Medicare Part A.

Original Medicare may not cover all prescription drugs, including pain medication. There are two options available for prescription drug coverage. You can enroll in a Medicare Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Plan) or Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage). Medicare Advantage plans are sold as an alternative to original Medicare. A Medicare Advantage plan or standalone Part D plan will include a drug formulary – a list of medications covered by your plan. You should consult your plan’s formulary to make you’re your prescription medications are covered under your plan.

Complementary pain therapies such as acupuncture, massage therapy as well as behavioral therapies may be advised and covered by Medicare. Physical therapy and exercise can also help relieve symptoms since they improve strength and mobility.

One of our licensed insurance agents can help you find the right Medicare Advantage plan that offers the pain relief services you are looking for. Request a quote here.

Sources
  • https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Story-Page/opioids-pain-awareness-month-article.pdf

  • https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/pain-management

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