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Info from: https://www.daocloud.com/acupuncture/cost

As you can imagine, the cost of acupuncture varies from city to city and from one acupuncturist to the next. In this article, we’ll explore the kinds of costs you can expect when you seek treatment, the types of discounts you may be eligible for, how to find low-cost acupuncture using community clinics, and acupuncture costs in some of the major cities.

If you’re looking to use insurance, we’ll reveal which insurance companies will pay for acupuncture treatment, And if you’re looking for a specific treatment for weight loss, back pain, infertility, or migraines, we’ll also give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for those treatments.

Contents

  1. How Much Does Acupuncture Cost?
  2. Typical Costs
  3. Discounts
  4. Total cost
  5. How to find low cost acupuncture (please consider the quality before consider low cost)
  6.  Which insurance companies cover acupuncture?
  7.  Acupuncture Cost by City
  8.  Cost by treatment type
  9.  For infertility
  10.  For Weight Loss
  11.  For Back Pain
  12.  For Migraines
  13.  Additional costs to consider
  14.  Tips for shopping for acupuncture
  15.  Frequently Asked Questions
  16.  Does medicare cover acupuncture?
  17.  Does medicaid cover acupuncture?
  18.  Do Medicare supplemental insurance plans cover acupuncture?
  19.  Will my insurance cover acupuncture?

Typical Costs

Fees for your first session of acupuncture may include an initial consultation, medical exam, and acupuncture treatment. This will cost between $120 to $240. Additional visits may cost $75 to $160.

Discounts

Many acupuncturists offer a discount when you purchase multiple treatments. So for example, if you were to purchase one session at $150 or six sessions at $600, bringing the price down to $100 per session.

Other popular discounts are:

  • Student discounts
  • Senior discounts
  • Child discounts

Ask your acupuncturist if they offer any of these discounts to get a better price on your treatments. For example, in Atlanta, an acupuncture treatment will cost $120, but a student discount brings it to $85, and for a child, it’s only $65.

Total cost

According to consumer reports , people spent more than $200 out of pocket over the course of their full treatment for acupuncture and almost one in four spent $500 or more.

How to find low cost acupuncture

Non-profit community acupuncture clinics are gaining popularity. These clinics, like Phoenix Community Acupuncture , offer low cost acupuncture on a sliding scale, $17-$35. Look for a community acupuncture clinic in your area to find low cost acupuncture.

Which insurance companies cover acupuncture?

The following insurance companies may cover your acupuncture, depending on your plan. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to verify coverage before seeking treatment. Your acupuncturist may also be able to assist you.

  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • Humana
  • Johns Hopkins EHP
  • Kennedy Krieger’s Core Source
  • Landmark
  • Optum
  • United Health Care

Acupuncture Cost by City

Methodology

These prices estimate the costs you may expect to pay for acupuncture without insurance. To determine these prices, we sampled acupuncturists listed in the Google business directory in each area.

Cost by City

City Acupuncture Session Cost
Atlanta $80
Austin $85
Baltimore $90
Boston $100
Charlotte $80
Chicago $95
Cincinnati $100
Cleveland $85
Columbus $75
Dallas $85
Denver $125
Houston $160
Indianapolis $95
Kansas City $75
Las Vegas $70
Los Angeles $120
Louisville $85
Memphis $75
Miami $120
Milwaukee $90
Minneapolis $120
Nashville $100
New Orleans $85
New York $300
Oklahoma City $75
Philadelphia $95
Phoenix $75
Portland $150
Raleigh $75
Richmond $90
Salt Lake City $75
San Diego $108
San Francisco $150
San Jose $85
Seattle $135
St Louis $60
Tampa $125
Washington DC $160

Cost by treatment type

For infertility

If you suffer from infertility, plan to pay a lot of money to increase your chances of getting pregnant. A typical acupuncture program for fertility might last three to six months, with treatments every week. Plan for a major portion of your expenses upfront with various diagnostic tests running from $160 to $325, which may include:

  • Male hormone panel
  • Female hormone panel
  • Estrogen ratio test
  • Adrenal salivary index
  • Salivary food sensitivity panel

Sample infertility costs

Initial Visit $150

Female hormone panel $325

Estrogen ratio test $200

Herbs ($150 monthly) $900

Weekly acupuncture for 6 months $1,680

___________________________________________________________________

Total Cost $3,255

For Weight Loss

If you need to lose some weight, acupuncture could help. Weekly acupuncture was shown to improve weight loss in this study. If you figure three months of acupuncture to accompany your exercise regime, you’d spend $840 or more depending on the per session cost.

For Back Pain

If you consider testimonial and anecdotal evidence, some people have used acupuncture to become free from pain in has few as 24 sessions. If you figure on a cost per session of $70 to $150, that amounts to $1,680 to $3,600.

However, some research suggests the effects of acupuncture on pain are temporary. In this case, you might need weekly acupuncture on an ongoing basis, resulting in a cost of $280 to $600 monthly for your back pain.

For Migraines

The same situation is true from migraines as back pain. Considering that you may need ongoing acupuncture treatment to relieve the pain associated with you migraines and keep them at bay, you may need to plan on spending anywhere from $280 to $1200 for weekly or bi-weekly acupuncture treatment.

Additional costs to consider

Here are some additional costs you may need to consider before purchasing an acupuncture treatment.

  • Herbs and supplements. Many acupuncture clinics will recommend patients take Chinese herbs or other supplements as part of their treatment program. These will always cost additional money above and beyond your acupuncture treatment, ranging from $30 to $150 monthly.
  • Tui Na. Your treatment may begin with an optional Tui Na session. This is similar to massage, but with a therapeutic emphasis, rather than relaxation. You may be charged extra for Tui Na.
  • Gratuity. With most bodywork, you may be expected to leave a tip for your practitioner; somewhere between 10-20%. Some clinics encourage gratuity while others discourage it.

Tips for shopping for acupuncture

  1. Ask your friends for a recommendation.
  2. Research online.
  3. Read online reviews.
  4. Understand the practitioners training and specializations.
  5. Call and ask for an introductory session. (Don’t forget to ask about what insurance they take)
  6. Go to your first appointment and evaluate the doctor and the office.
  7. Make a decision to return or keep looking for an acupuncturist you like.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does medicare cover acupuncture?

No. Medicare does not cover acupuncture.

Does medicaid cover acupuncture?

No. Medicaid does not cover acupuncture

Do Medicare supplemental insurance plans cover acupuncture?

Some Medicare supplemental insurance plans provide coverage for acupuncture treatment but most don’t offer coverage.

Will my insurance cover acupuncture?

While many insurance companies are beginning to cover acupuncture, most plans that do are higher cost plans. If you have had chronic pain for six months and the traditional forms of treatment, like drugs or physical therapy have been ineffective, there’s a higher chance your insurance will cover your acupuncture treatments.

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As a specialty of Acupuncture, Aetna actually has NO acupuncturist network in Virginia (VA), Washington DC area.

Aetna only has one acupuncture discount rate network through ASH, i.e. American Specialty Health Acupuncture network. So, it means any acupuncturist has to accept a discount fee schedule if he/she join the ASH network when treating a patient who has Aetna insurance.

But, sometime, if the patient has Aetna Acupuncture benefit, Aetna may pay the acupuncture provider at a out-of-network fee schedule (see, save money) –i.e., according to the rule, Aetna should have an acupuncturist network (but has NONE), then Aetna could pay the provider treating its HMO/EPO patient, –Aetna may refuse to pay, because no acupuncturist is in-network. Sometime Aetna may pay the treatment for PPO patients who have acupuncture benefit (as an out-of network, 50%-70%, patient need pay more, such as high deductible due to out-of-network, high percentage of coinsurance, 30-50%), which Aetna may also refuse to pay…….the reasons—medical unnecessary, or acupuncture benefit only for acupuncture anesthesia—that means it should be done when surgery by is done by an MD—not by an acupuncturist.

Aetna insurance is not very clear about the acupuncture network issues, acupuncture benefit definition, HMO, EPO, PPO, etc. , and payment.

Appeal? No one will say that “my processing was wrong” in Aetna insurance office. The representatives seem to always have many reasons to refuse any appeal.

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Dear Dr. Fan,                   02/18/2010

My name is L……  I have a 9.5 years old daughter who has dystonia since she was about 6 years old. The dystonia started with her right leg, and now also affect her left leg.
She also has mild dystonia on her eyes and mouth. Since the dystonia started, Josephine has been having problem with walking. Her feet turned inward and also stiff.
She walks very very slow, and her gait makes it even worse. She also gets a lot of headache.
Her neurologist prescribed her Artane for the dystonia, and she has been taking it until today.
 
I look forward to have alternative treatment such as acupuncture, and Chinese herbal medication. For right now I can not take her outside California to visit your clinic, but I am working on it to be able to take her seeing you. However, I would like her to get Chinese herbal medication and start taking it asap.
 
I am still working on having her video and sending it to you. Please respond to me about how we could get her Chinese herbal medication.  Her insurance will not cover this alternative treatment, so we will pay by ourselves. So please also let us know the cost of the medication.
 
Thank you very much for returning my call this morning. I have a very high hope after reading your website. I realize dystonia is not something that can be cured, but at least if it can be mild it will mean so much for my daughter’s life. Looking forward to hearing from you.
 
Sincerely,
 
L

The Reply from Dr. Arthur Fan 02/19/2010 9:00AM

Dear Lenny, 

That is correct. Almost all of treatments for dystonia in conventional medicine is symptom treatment (no cure). Using Chinese medicine, acupuncture plus herbs, it is also very hard to be cured in a short time. However, we do have some patients “cured”! 

That does the “cured” mean in dystonia? 

Answer: most of dystonia symptoms gone and just need mild herbal medicine or acupuncture maintenance. The treatment for that aim is at least 6 month to one year, or even more.

These treatments are not payable from your insurance in current time.  And you need patience.

Please give me her other information

Appetite, bowel movement condition, sleep condition.

Tongue color–coating (white? yellow? thin or thick) and tongue color(pink or very red),

Pulse (you could let a local acupuncturist have a look).

For more information, such as how much the fees for herbs, capsule, etc. You could read the detail online in my blog.www.arthuryinfan.wordpress.com(dystonia part)

Arthur Yin Fan, PhD,CMD,LAc

McLean Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, PLC
8214 Old Courthouse Road, Tysons Square Office Park,
Vienna, VA 22182.
Phone:(703)499-4428; Fax:(703)547-8197

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One herbal medicine (capsule) for dystonia(generalized dystonia, cervical dystonia/Spasmodic Torticollis, Meige’s syndrome, etc)  and related neurological conditions, has been approved by China Local FDA agency. It is priced at $50 per bottle (100 capsule). The dosage is 3 capsules each time, 3 times a day (a total of 9 capsules a day). Three bottles will last for a month, which makes the monthly total $150. 

For individualized herbal “tea”(decoction) based on Pattern Differentiation Technique (the information of tongue and pulse diagnosis, as well as bowl movement, etc will be used) the cost is $85 per week.  One treatment course is four weeks ($340; includes evaluation and prescription costs).

Basically, $490 is the price for one treatment course.

How long until the patient sees improvement?

Generally 2 weeks are need– around 80% patients see improvement by then.

If your cannot come, we can consider mailing the herbs to you. You can pay related mailing fee (depending on your mail handler) and handling fee($10).

We waive the cost $150 for evaluation, we help you to save some money.

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The discussion below is only for the patients who have NO acupuncture benefits. If the patients have acupuncture coverage, please read other information in our blogs regarding to the insurance issues.

Different in answers.

When some patients come, they hope we could give them a very low price for acupuncture–if their insurance plan does not cover the acupuncture. They actually have no idea about how much acupuncture price should be.

How much? around $40-50?—acutually, their expectation is, the acupuncture self-pay price is just a little bit higher than or close to the copayment (for example $20-35) in their insurance plan for other medical specialties when they have NO acupuncture coverage in their insurance.

In current market, the average price or cost  for human patients in Washington DC/ Northern Virginia is around $65-110 (do you know how much-if your pets,dog or cat, need to do acupuncture? the Vet-doctors’ fee schedule is–the first session $250, next $125. Much higher than human patients’ payment for acupuncture services). Some acupuncturises may charge $50-60, some may charge more than  $100.  Some also charge initial visit in additional,$40 -100(or more) because the examination/evaluation and paper works.  Some give patients who have no acupuncture coverage in insurance or senior an additional discount.  Some do not. Some offer a free initial visit.

Considering the price, we should think of:

(1) the actual cost in conventional medicine; for example, the treatment for low back pain, how much for the overall price for an operation/surgery? how much for the overall cost of physical therapy? or how much for the overall cost of Chiropractic treatment?

If we consider the cost/effectiveness ratio, acupuncture overall value actually very high.  It means you pay less and get a good result, with less side effect too. That means acupuncture therapy is less expensive one.  But when patient considers their self-payment, they may feel it is high, that is true—if insurance could cover, patients only need to pay the deductible, and copay. i.e. patient think it is high, it is higher than the copayment, but it is much lower than the actual cost in conventional therapies.

(2) the provider’s condition; if we consider the provider’s costs in training, getting experience, the high level / better provider may have better result, or say, patient might see the effectiveness earlier.  So, paying a little bit more to get a better result is not a bad idea.  In a overall view, patient maybe still save money.

(3) see how many therapies, time  or efforts the provider using for patient; if the provider used acupuncture alone 20 mintues for you and charged $80-90, it may be a little bit high;  if use 40-60 minutes, it is valuable;

If the provider uses comprehensive therapies, such acupuncture with electrical therapy, infarared, cupping, tuina, etc., which would be very valuable and patient may see the effectiveness much earlier.

The price should reflect the value– the technology, training and experience level, treatment time, effectiveness, and other costs, such as office running cost, etc.

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Q: What financial programs do Dr. Fan offer?

A: Payment for services rendered is due at the time the services are performed. Dr. Fan participates with some insurance companies’ networks; however, most insurance carriers only cover a portion of the actual charge (insurance companies generally only cover the use of acupuncture in treating pain and/or nausea). For this reason, it is important for patients to keep an ongoing account throughout the course of their treatment. The remaining balance is always the responsibility of the patient (including fees for cupping, Chinese herbs, etc.)

Dr. Fan is a provider of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (HMO, PPO, FEP; National Accounts, Blue Cards, etc.), Cigna PPO and United Healthcare, American Specialty Health (ASH), and FirstHealth (included in Mail Handler). He also gives an 80 percent discount to patients whose insurance doesn’t cover acupuncture.

CALL YOUR INSURANCE BEFORE SEEING DR.ARTHUR FAN.
(1) If Dr. Fan is an in-network Acupuncture provider for your HMO or PPO;

Dr. Fan will bill your health plan for you. You just need to pay him your deductible, if any, and co-payments and fees for non-covered treatments–such as herbal tea, cupping or massage. Benefits apply to acupuncture treatment for pain and/or nausea.
(2) If you have a PPO/HMO plan that does not have a benefit for Acupuncture,

In some situations Dr. Fan will give you a discount(about 80 percent rate), according to the pre-existing agreement between Dr. Fan and your plan.
(3) If your insurance plan accepts out-of-network acupuncture providers,

Dr. Fan may be able to submit claims to your insurance company.
(4) If your plan has no acupuncture benefit for out-of-network providers,

Dr. Fan will give you a discounted rate if your insurance card shows the marker “ASH” or “N-CAM”. Dr. Fan does offer discount program to senior patients (20% off). Medicare and Medicaid programs do not include acupuncture benefits.

For more information about insurance issue, please call your insurance for detail.

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