Medicare Part B typically does cover physical therapy if it is considered medically necessary by a doctor or therapist.
Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans can also cover physical therapy, and some plans may offer additional benefits that Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) doesn't cover.
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Medicare Part B will typically pay 80% of the approved cost amount, and you will pay 20% after you meet your Part B deductible ($203 per year in 2021). If your physical therapy is not considered medically necessary, you're responsible for 100% of the cost.
To find out how much your physical therapy services will likely cost, speak with your therapist or therapy provider before receiving services.
In 2018, congress eliminated the limits on how much Medicare pays for therapy services in a single year.
This means that in qualifying cases, Medicare Part B will continue to help cover some of the costs of your physical therapy, no matter how high your accumulated costs grow in the year.
Your therapy provider may need to add a notation to your therapy claim, confirming that your therapy services are reasonable and necessary. Your therapist may also add information to your medical records explaining why the services are medically necessary.
If your physical therapy services are not medically necessary, your therapy provider must provide you with a written notice before providing services.
Physical therapy services are generally covered for anyone with Medicare Part B, as long as the services are considered medically necessary.
In most cases, a referral is not needed to visit a physical therapist for an evaluation in order to determine if therapy is considered medically necessary.
If your physical therapy is considered medically necessary, you must then be under the care of a doctor who accepts Medicare assignment in order for the service to be covered by Medicare without facing excess charges.
Original Medicare may cover physical therapy performed in your home under Medicare’s home health benefits.
In order for in-home physical therapy to be covered by Medicare, the following circumstances typically must be met:
Medicare Part B provides coverage for occupational therapy on an outpatient basis.
The Part B deductible applies, and you will owe up to 20% of the Medicare-approved amount after you meet your annual Part B deductible.
There are several reasons why a senior citizen might undergo physical therapy, such as:
Physical therapy can help seniors develop strength, flexibility and endurance, which are especially helpful in helping prevent falls and keeping seniors healthy and happy overall.
Because there are so many different reasons for going through physical therapy, there are several different types of therapy that can match each unique need.
Depending on your situation, your doctor may recommend one of the following types of physical therapy.
As there are different types of physical therapy, there are also a number of different methods that may be used to deliver therapeutic treatment.
Some of the physical therapy methods used to treat seniors include:
Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) are sold by private insurance companies and combine the benefits covered by Medicare Part A and Part B into one single plan.
This means that Medicare Advantage plans will cover your physical therapy services that would qualify for Medicare Part B coverage as listed above.
Many Medicare Advantage plans may also provide benefits that aren’t covered by Original Medicare. Some of these additional benefits can include prescription drug coverage and membership to fitness and wellness programs such as Silver Sneakers.
To learn more about Medicare Advantage plans in your area that cover physical therapy, call today to speak with a licensed insurance agent.
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This article is for informational purposes only. It is not healthcare advice. Speak to your doctor or healthcare provider about your specific healthcare needs.
Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for MedicareAdvantage.com. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options.
His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.
Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.
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