Home Resources Our blog Understanding Medicare Coverage of Physical Therapy
About Medicare
Jun 6, 2024

Understanding Medicare Coverage of Physical Therapy

physical therapy coverage and medicare

Physical therapy is essential for recovery from injuries, surgeries, and managing chronic conditions, and not having access to these services can significantly impact your quality of life. This article delves into the specifics of Medicare coverage for physical therapy, offering clear insights and guidance for those seeking to understand their benefits.

Medicare and Physical Therapy Coverage
Medicare recognizes the importance of physical therapy for recovery and rehabilitation. As such, it does provide coverage under certain conditions, primarily through Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance), as part of its outpatient therapy services.

Here’s what beneficiaries need to know:

Coverage Under Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B covers physical therapy services that are considered medically necessary. This means the therapy must be ordered by a physician or another healthcare provider authorized to do so and must be deemed as a necessary part of treating a condition or illness.
Here are specific examples of services covered:

  1. Evaluation and Diagnosis: Initial assessments by a physical therapist to determine the level of impairment, functional limitations, and the need for therapy.
  2. Individualized Treatment Plans: Therapy services that are part of a treatment plan designed for the individual’s specific needs, including exercises, manual therapy, and education on self-management of the condition.
  3. Maintenance Therapy: For individuals with a chronic condition, Medicare covers maintenance therapy that is necessary to maintain the patient’s current condition or prevent or slow further deterioration.
  4. Outpatient Services: Services provided in an outpatient setting, including a physical therapist’s office, outpatient department of a hospital, or a Medicare-certified rehabilitation agency.


Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)
Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as Part C, must cover everything Original Medicare covers but can offer additional benefits. Many Medicare Advantage Plans provide enhanced benefits for physical therapy, potentially including more services or a greater number of sessions than Original Medicare. Coverage details can vary significantly from plan to plan, so it’s crucial to review the specifics of your plan.

Caps and Limits
Medicare Part B used to have a cap on the amount it would pay for therapy services in a calendar year, but this cap was permanently removed in 2018. Instead, there’s now a threshold after which your provider must confirm that your therapy services remain medically necessary. In 2024, this threshold is set at $2,330 for physical therapy and speech-language pathology services combined. It’s important to monitor your expenses and work with your provider to ensure continued coverage.

Finding Coverage and Navigating Limits
To find physical therapy coverage under Medicare, start with your primary care physician or specialist who can assess your need for therapy and provide a referral. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, check with your plan provider about the specifics of your physical therapy benefits, as they may have particular network providers or additional benefits.

Medicare provides essential coverage for physical therapy, offering support for those in need of rehabilitation services. Whether through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan, beneficiaries have access to physical therapy services, ensuring that they can receive the care necessary for recovery and maintenance of their health.
Are you in need of Medicare guidance? At AMAC, we have a team of in-house Medicare agents ready to take your call. If you’re not ready to have a conversation yet, our website has plenty of helpful resources including a live quoting tool that you can use to see plans in your area!

Request a call!

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