How Much Does Acupuncture Treatment Cost?

Acupuncture is an ancient practice of traditional Chinese medicine that has been around for thousands of years. The purpose of this practice is to clear specific energy channels to restore and sustain overall health.

The costs of acupuncture may vary depending on the location, specified insurance coverage, and scope of treatment. When a patient visits the acupuncturist is for the first time, the appointment typically includes an intake form to go over:

  • Health history
  • Areas of concern
  • Diet
  • Lifestyle
  • Why the treatment is desired
acupuncture treatment

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Which Conditions Can Acupuncture Treat?

Some of the conditions that can benefit from this acupuncture include:

  • Infertility
  • Addiction
  • Headaches
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain
  • Menopausal symptoms

Initial Visit Rates

The rates for acupuncture can range. The costs depend on the location and the specific treatment. The average fees for the first session could cost from $120 to $300. This session may include a medical exam, consultation, and acupuncture treatment.

What to Expect at Your First Appointment

When you go to the acupuncturist for the first time, expect to fill out an intake form. This will include questions about your diet, lifestyle, health history, and the reason you are making the appointment.

The acupuncturist will go over the form and discuss any additional questions that you may have. During the treatment, you will lay in a relaxed position and the acupuncturist will place thin needles into the areas of the body where the energy has been blocked. Areas include the neck, back, arms, and other areas.

The needles will stay in place for 30 minutes or more. Overall, this experience is known to be healing and relaxing. Once the session is done, you and the practitioner will discuss the experience and additional options for treatments.

Follow-up Visit Rates

After the initial visit and setting up a plan with the practitioner, visits can cost anywhere from $75 to $300 and more per session. The cost depends on the number of visits as well as the specific condition and needs of the patient.

Along with the acupuncture treatment, the practitioner may suggest the purchase of herbs and other items for treatments.

Is Acupuncture Covered by Insurance?

Acupuncture is covered by certain insurances. It is important to check with your provider to see if it covers the treatment.

The centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services finalized a decision to cover acupuncture for patients who have chronic low back pain. Part of this decision was to help with the opioid crisis.

Depending on your insurance, there may be coverage for acupuncture for more reasons than chronic back pain. Other insurances may cover acupuncture for treatments related to the following:

  • Chronic (minimum 12 weeks duration) neck pain
  • Chronic (minimum 12 weeks duration) headache
  • Post-operative dental pain
  • Temporomandibular disorders (TMD)
  • Low back pain
  • Nausea of pregnancy
  • Osteoarthritis of the knee or hip
  • Post-operative and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting

Insurance Companies That Cover Acupuncture

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

Ways to Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs

There are a number of ways to reduce the out-of-pocket costs of acupuncture. These include:

  • Asking if there are discounted package treatments
  • Utilizing a Health Savings Account
  • Looking into community acupuncture where services are offered on a sliding scale
  • Asking for student, veteran, or senior citizen discounts. 

Finding an Acupuncturist

To find a licensed acupuncturist, patients can speak with their healthcare provider for a referral. They can also visit the following sites.

A Word From Verywell

Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years. It is considered an alternative treatment for a number of conditions. Before you try any new treatment, it is important to contact a healthcare professional to discuss the options that are best for your specific needs. If you decide to get acupuncture treatment, continue to visit your primary care physician at your scheduled appointments.

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Article Sources
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  1. Daocloud. How much does acupuncture cost?

  2. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CMS finalizes decision to cover acupuncture for chronic low back pain for medicare beneficiaries. Updated January 21, 2020.