Medicare Coverage for Home Traction Units

Medicare covers home traction equipment as part of durable medical equipment (DME) if a doctor orders home usage. Medicare will cover 80 percent of the cost, leaving you to pay 20 percent after the Part B deductible is met.

Christian Simmons, writer and researcher for RetireGuide
  • Written by
    Christian Simmons

    Christian Simmons

    Financial Writer

    Christian Simmons is a writer for RetireGuide and a member of the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE®). He covers Medicare and important retirement topics. Christian is a former winner of a Florida Society of News Editors journalism contest and has written professionally since 2016.

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  • Edited By
    Lee Williams
    Lee Williams, senior editor for RetireGuide.com

    Lee Williams

    Senior Financial Editor

    Lee Williams is a professional writer, editor and content strategist with 10 years of professional experience working for global and nationally recognized brands. He has contributed to Forbes, The Huffington Post, SUCCESS Magazine, AskMen.com, Electric Literature and The Wall Street Journal. His career also includes ghostwriting for Fortune 500 CEOs and published authors.

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  • Published: June 30, 2021
  • Updated: November 1, 2022
  • 2 min read time
  • This page features 7 Cited Research Articles
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APA Simmons, C. (2022, November 1). Medicare Coverage for Home Traction Units. RetireGuide.com. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/services/durable-medical-equipment/home-traction-device/

MLA Simmons, Christian. "Medicare Coverage for Home Traction Units." RetireGuide.com, 1 Nov 2022, https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/services/durable-medical-equipment/home-traction-device/.

Chicago Simmons, Christian. "Medicare Coverage for Home Traction Units." RetireGuide.com. Last modified November 1, 2022. https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/services/durable-medical-equipment/home-traction-device/.

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Home Traction Unit Coverage at a Glance
Medicare PlanHome Traction Unit Coverage
Part A (Inpatient)N/A
Part B (Outpatient) Covers 80% of eligible home traction device costs after you have reached your Part B deductible. Copayments will still apply.
Part C (Medicare Advantage)Coverage mirrors Part B. Select plans may offer additional benefits.
Part D (Prescription Drugs)N/A
Supplemental InsuranceCan help cover out-of-pocket costs related to home traction devices. Coverage varies by plan.

Will Medicare Pay for a Home Traction Device?

Medicare covers a range of durable medical equipment (DME) for use in your home. That includes traction equipment, which can help provide relief to certain parts of your body.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, traction works to create tension to alleviate the pain or discomfort from an injury.

As with all other types of DME, it’s important to make sure that your doctor who is prescribing the traction equipment and your supplier are enrolled in Medicare. If they are not, then Part B will not help pay for the device and you will be responsible for the full cost.

Distinct types of DME are also covered in different ways, meaning that you may need to rent or buy the device depending on what is available and what Medicare will cover.

After you meet the Part B deductible, you will pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount.

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Medicare Guidelines for Cervical Traction Units

Cervical traction devices also work to alleviate pain in the spine and neck area. Medicare will cover a cervical traction device if it is medically necessary.

Such conditions are a musculoskeletal or neurological impairment to qualify for a device. Additionally, you must demonstrate that you can tolerate using the equipment.

Medicare will not cover any device that works by being attached to a headboard or a free-standing frame.

Medicare could also cover specific cervical traction equipment if you have lower jaw and neck distortion or temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

There could be more coverage available through Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage plans, which are private and offer everything covered by Original Medicare.

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Does Medicare Cover Lumbar Traction Devices?

Medicare coverage for lumbar traction and traction devices can be limited, but there are options available through Original Medicare to manage lumbar or back pain.

Medicare covers chiropractic services in some circumstances, such as a subluxation. Medically necessary physical therapy is typically covered, as well as acupuncture to treat lower back pain.

Medicare Part D, which is an optional benefit that covers prescription drugs, could be used to help with pain management.

Last Modified: November 1, 2022

7 Cited Research Articles

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2022, May 1). Cervical Traction. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470412/
  2. University of Utah. (2021, December 15). Vertebral Axial Decompression. Retrieved from https://uhealthplan.utah.edu/medicalpolicy/pdf/mp-053.pdf
  3. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2021, June 9). Traction. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002336.htm
  4. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2020, January 1). Local Coverage Determination (LCD): Cervical Traction Devices. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/view/lcd.aspx?LCDId=33823&ContrId=389
  5. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2007, April 6). Decompression Therapy for the Treatment of Lumbosacral Pain. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coverage/DeterminationProcess/downloads/id47TA.pdf
  6. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (1997, April 15). National Coverage Determination (NCD) for Vertebral Axial Decompression. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/view/ncd.aspx?NCDId=124&ncdver=1&bc=AAAAEAAAAAAA&
  7. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Traction equipment. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/traction-equipment