Does Medicare Cover Laser Spine Surgery?
If you're considering laser surgery to treat spinal pain, here's what you need to know about Medicare's coverage and costs.
Medicare Part B may cover laser spine surgery if the procedure is ordered by a doctor and considered medically necessary. Learn more about Medicare's out-of-pocket costs and the limits of when Medicare does cover spinal surgery.
Laser Spine Surgery Costs with Medicare
Even if your laser back surgery is considered medically necessary and Medicare does cover back surgery in your case, there are some costs that you'll likely have to pay out of pocket, including:
- Medicare Part A deductible ($1,632 per benefit period in 2024)
- Medicare Part B deductible ($240 per year in 2024)
- Medicare Part A coinsurance ($408 per day for days 61-90 in a hospital, $816 per each "lifetime reserve day" of each benefit period for days 91 and beyond, and all costs beyond lifetime reserve days in 2024)
- Medicare Part B coinsurance (typically 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount of service)
Understanding Laser Spine Surgery
Laser spine surgery is a less invasive alternative to traditional surgery. Surgeons make smaller incisions and use tools to tunnel to the site of pain. Muscles aren't removed, which means that the damage to nearby tissue is minimal and recovery is quicker.
Laser Back Surgery is Not for Everyone
Dr. Michael Steinmetz, the Co-Director of the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Spine Health, argues that laser spine surgery isn't for everyone. The surgeon notes that he rarely uses lasers to:1
- Remove tumors from spines
- Remove bone or soft tissue near a nerve
- Shrink disk material near a nerve
Steinmetz notes, too, that in most standard practices, only around a third of cases are right for minimally invasive procedures. Some may actually use a laser, he adds, while others rely on scalpels and microsurgical instruments.
Speak with your doctor to decide if laser spine surgery is the right option for you. Your doctor can also provide specific pricing information regarding your surgery and Medicare.
Does the Laser Spine Institute Accept Medicare?
The Laser Spine Institute offers services that are partially covered by Medicare. Laser Spine Institute breaks their fees up into professional fees and facility fees.
Medicare does cover the costs associated with the professional fees. Their ambulatory surgery center facility fees are not covered by Medicare.
Learn more about common procedures that Medicare covers.
Medicare Supplement Insurance can help cover your out-of-pocket laser spine surgery costs.Find a plan Or call to speak with a licensed insurance agent.