Back pain can be a result of lifestyle choices, work habits, or injury, while other back problems stem from medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and even spinal tumors. Depending on your specific condition, your physician will likely explore different treatments to resolve your back pain. If all other treatments prove ineffective, your physician may suggest spinal surgery.
Based on your specific needs, your physician can suggest traditional surgery, or a less invasive laser spine surgery. Laser surgery uses a smaller incision and a laser to remove soft tissue or tumors around nerves, bone, or the spinal cord. With an experienced and trained surgeon, laser surgery may limit nerve damage and post-operative pain.
Surgery can be stressful enough, but if you are a Medicare recipient, you may be concerned about the cost of your procedure. Medicare may help cover services and supplies related to laser spine surgery if you meet certain criteria.
Medicare Part A and Part B Coverage for Spine Surgery
If your physician deems it medically necessary for you to undergo laser spinal surgery, Medicare may help cover the costs. The actual surgery is covered by Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) you are formally admitted into a Medicare-approved hospital for the procedure. Part A will help cover general nursing, semi-private rooms, meals, and other hospital services and supplies.
Medically necessary services and supplies you get before surgery, including imaging tests like x-rays and an MRI, may be covered by Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). Follow-up care, such as post-operative exams and physical therapy, will also be covered by Part B. You may be responsible for coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles, depending on your Medicare coverage.
How Medigap Can Help
If you have Original Medicare and have purchased supplemental insurance, your Medigap (Medicare Supplement) policy can help cover the costs that Original Medicare does not, including copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles. Medigap coverage can help lower your out-of-pocket costs for laser spine surgery.
Medicare Advantage Coverage for Laser Spine Surgery
If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you will have at least the same coverage as Original Medicare, but many Medicare Advantage plans offer additional benefits, including an annual out-of-pocket limit. Check with your plan to find out your exact costs for your care before, during, and after laser spine surgery.