Pain Awareness Month Article

Know What Medicare Covers to Help Manage Your Pain

September is Pain Awareness Month. If you have Medicare, there are covered options to help you manage your pain safely and effectively.

In addition to pain medications covered under Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D), Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) helps pay for services that may help you manage your pain, like:
• Physical therapy
• Occupational therapy
• Manual manipulation of the spine (when medically necessary)
• Behavioral health services like depression screening
These services can help manage pain, and have fewer long-term risks than prescription medications like opioids.

Prescription opioids, including hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine and fentanyl, can be used to help relieve moderate-to-severe pain. Doctors may prescribe opioids following surgery or an injury, or for certain chronic health conditions. These medications can be an important part of treatment, but they also come with serious risks like addiction, overdose, and death. If you’re using opioids to manage chronic pain, ask your doctor if you might also need a prescription for naloxone, an overdose-reversing drug that is covered by Medicare.

Before starting or while taking opioids, talk with your doctor about all of your pain treatment options, including physical and occupational therapy, exercise, and taking non-prescription drugs like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen.

For more information on safe and effective pain management, visit:
• Medicare, at https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/pain-management or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.
• U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, at https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/prevention/pain-management-options/index.html
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/patients/options.html

This information is prepared by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.