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Does Medicare Cover a Spinal Cord Stimulator?

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By Daniel Petkevich
Nov 19, 2022

Medicare has your back

If you suffer from chronic back pain, you have probably already tried every solution in the book to alleviate it. For Medicare beneficiaries curious about spinal cord stimulation, also known as HF10, you're in luck. Medicare covers the procedure and the stimulator. Read more to see if this treatment is right for you and how Medicare will offer coverage.

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What is a spinal cord stimulator?

A spinal cord stimulator is a device that is surgically implanted in the body. It sends out electrical pulses to disrupt pain signals from reaching the brain and can help with back pain, leg pain, and other forms of chronic pain. Before committing to a spinal cord stimulator, you may have a trial period of up to three days, so you can get a good idea of how it feels and if the treatment works for you.

How is a spinal cord stimulator implanted?

This implant is usually done in an outpatient procedure which takes an hour or two. You will likely receive a sedative for comfort, and so the doctor can communicate where the electrodes are being placed. The implants will be for a generator, usually around the abdomen or buttocks, and for electrodes on the spine.

What are the benefits of a spinal cord stimulator?

The biggest benefit is that the stimulator can provide significant relief from chronic pain. In addition, it is non-invasive and reversible. Many of the surgeries associated with the spine are more invasive and require significantly longer recovery time. Since it does not require medication or surgery, there are virtually no side effects associated with the procedure.

What are the risks associated with having a spinal cord stimulator implanted?

There are risks, just like any surgery. These include infections, adverse reactions to anesthesia, and blood clots. However, these risks are relatively low when compared to the potential benefits of pain relief that a spinal cord stimulator can provide.

Does Medicare cover a spinal cord stimulator?

Medicare does cover the implantation of a spinal cord stimulator for eligible beneficiaries. You will need to meet certain criteria and have a doctor's recommendation in order for the procedure to be covered. In addition, you must use an approved supplier. Since it's typically an outpatient procedure, your coverage will be under Part B in Medicare. That means Medicare covers 80% of the cost, and you are responsible for the remaining 20%. Medicare Supplement plans may help you cover some or all of the balance.

Conclusion

If you are struggling with chronic pain and looking to alleviate the pain, talk to your doctor about spinal cord stimulation as a potential solution. This content is for informational purposes only. With Medicare's help, you can have the device implanted and feel relief from pain. For all your other Medicare questions, give us a call at 1-888-376-2028

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