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Does Medicare Cover UVB Light Therapy?

Does Medicare Cover UVB Light Therapy?

Does Medicare cover UVB light therapy?

UVB light therapy is a form of phototherapy that many believe provides various health benefits, primarily physical. However, there are also claims that UVB light therapy can also offer mental health benefits.

Either way, it is crucial to exercise caution when using this therapy. Excessive exposure to UV light can increase the risk of skin cancer. 

Be sure you follow proper safety protocols and consult with a healthcare professional before using UV light therapy.

With that said, a common question many people have is, “does Medicare cover UVB light therapy?” In this article, we answer that question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of going through UVB light therapy and other helpful information.

Does Medicare Cover UVB Light Therapy?

The short answer is yes; Medicare will cover the cost of UVB light therapy. But this is not the case 100% of the time. As is often the case with Medicare, certain conditions have to be met for Medicare to pay for your UVB light therapy. Below we look at what these are so you know what to expect.

Original Medicare Coverage of UVB Light Therapy

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) provides coverage for UVB light therapies. This plan provides coverage for UVB light therapy if it is considered medically necessary. First, your healthcare provider needs to order the prescription or treatment. Then Original Medicare can cover it.

They provide coverage as long as it is medically necessary to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. But Original Medicare will only provide UVB light therapy for SAD if the patient has tried other treatments but did not succeed. 

When Does Original Medicare Not Cover UVB Light Therapy?

Original Medicare does not provide coverage for UVB light therapy if it’s for cosmetic reasons.

When is UVB Light Therapy Covered by Part A?

Coverage for UVB light therapy is provided by Medicare Part A if it takes place in an inpatient setting. Medicare Part A will cover 100 percent of the costs of hospital stays for up to 60 days. 

When is UVB Light Therapy Covered by Part B?

On the other hand, coverage for UVB light therapy is provided by Medicare Part B when it takes place in an outpatient setting. Once approved, Medicare Part B covers 80 percent of the costs of UV light therapy. You will pay for the remaining 20 percent. 

Part C Coverage for UVB Light Therapy

Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) also provide coverage for UV light therapy. These plans must cover all the same treatments and therapies Original Medicare covers and some additional benefits. Precisely what it covers, and the out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on the specifics of your Advantage plan. 

How Much Does UVB Light Therapy Cost?

The average cost of UVB light therapy is $3,600 per patient. This cost depends on the provider and the length of the treatment.

Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage. Always be sure to double-check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.

Additional Info on Medicare Coverage

This article is part of our series on “What does Medicare cover?”

Also, you can check out other articles in this series, including:

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Medicare Plan Tips Editor