Does Medicare Cover Peripheral Neuropathy?
Different parts of Medicare will cover your treatment and medications for peripheral neuropathy, which is a condition of damaged nerves. Your treatment plan may differ depending on the type of peripheral neuropathy you have and how it is caused.
Does Medicare Cover Peripheral Neuropathy Treatments?
Medicare Parts A and B, also known as Original Medicare, will cover your peripheral neuropathy treatments. Treatments vary depending on the type of peripheral neuropathy condition you have.
According to a research study from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH), over 100 types of peripheral neuropathy have been identified, all with different symptoms.
Medicare Part A will cover your inpatient hospitalization costs for peripheral neuropathy treatments. Part B will cover your outpatient doctors’ visits, screenings and necessary medical equipment. Keep in mind that you must meet your deductibles before coverage begins.
While there is no set cure for peripheral neuropathy, there are many Medicare-covered treatments to help manage and ease pain. Treatment effectiveness depends on the type of nerve damage you have. In some cases, simple lifestyle changes can treat your condition.
- Maintaining your weight
- Avoiding toxin exposure
- Correcting vitamin deficiencies
- Avoiding alcohol and smoking
However, if you have diabetic neuropathy or an autoimmune condition that led to peripheral neuropathy, you may need a more vigorous treatment plan.
|Diabetic Neuropathy||Controlling your blood glucose levels or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)|
|Autoimmune Neuropathy||Plasmapheresis treatment, the process of removing and cleaning your blood then returning the blood to your body|
Some conditions may even require surgery or amputations. Meet with your doctor to establish what type of peripheral neuropathy you have and devise a Medicare-covered treatment plan accordingly.
Does Medicare Cover Peripheral Neuropathy Medications?
Medicare Part D prescription drug plans can help cover the cost of your peripheral neuropathy medications. Each Part D plan varies in coverage and costs, so make sure your specific plan covers the drug you need.
Another option for peripheral neuropathy drug coverage is Medicare Advantage. Also known as Part C, Medicare Advantage plans covers everything included in Original Medicare plus additional coverage.
Part D and Medicare Advantage plans cover various drugs to treat different types of peripheral neuropathy. There are a few medications that are typically prescribed to treat common types of the condition.
|Reason for Needing Medication||Suggested Medication|
|Inflammatory issues||Steroids, immunosuppressants, injections of immunoglobulin|
|Chronic pain||Amitriptyline, duloxetine or tramadol|
What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is typically caused by trauma or a disease. However, sometimes peripheral neuropathy is acquired genetically.
In either scenario, the result is the same — a damaged nervous system which disrupts signals between your brain, spinal cord and other parts of your body.
- Physical injury
- Blood problems
- Autoimmune disorders
- Nutritional imbalance
- Alcohol addiction or exposure to toxins
What Are the Different Types of Peripheral Neuropathy?
While there are over 100 different types of peripheral neuropathy, there are several types that are more common than others. Diabetic neuropathy, a type of orthopedic condition, is the most common.
Diabetic neuropathy typically has symptoms of painful tingling or numbness in your feet. This condition may eventually spread to your legs, arms and hands.
- Amyloid Polyneuropathy
- Can be inherited and caused by disease or spurred by a condition like carpal tunnel syndrome
- Diabetic Neuropathy
- Caused by diabetes or unbalanced glucose intolerance
- Inflammatory Neuropathy
- Caused by untreated infections or autoimmune issues
- Painful Neuropathy
- Caused by damage to nerve tissue
- Toxic Neuropathy
- Caused by chemotherapy or other chemicals
Each type of peripheral neuropathy can progress in stages from one to five.
Stage one is mild symptoms that can typically be treated with slight lifestyle changes.
Those who are in stages two to four commonly experience burning or tingling sensations and struggle to sleep. These stages are typically when medications are needed.
Stage five is when limbs go numb and amputation becomes a possibility due to dead nerves. Medicare-covered treatments, medications and lifestyle changes can help you avoid your condition reaching stage five.
5 Cited Research Articles
- The National Health Service. (2022, April 24). Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/peripheral-neuropathy/treatment/
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2022, April 25). Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Peripheral-Neuropathy-Fact-Sheet
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2022, April 25). Peripheral Neuropathy Information Page. Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Peripheral-Neuropathy-Information-Page
- University of Maryland Medical Center. (n.d.). Types of Peripheral Neuropathies. Retrieved from https://www.umms.org/ummc/health-services/neurology/services/peripheral-neuropathy/types
- Anderson Podiatry Center. (n.d.). Treating Neuropathy: 5 Stages. Retrieved from https://andersonpodiatrycenter.com/2017/03/29/treating-neuropathy-medications-stages/