Medicare Guidelines for Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Medicare covers pulmonary rehabilitation programs if you have moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Medicare Part B will pay for 80% of the cost of pulmonary rehabilitation, with a deductible that also applies. You’ll then pay 20% for doctor’s office visits or a copayment if you decide to go to a hospital outpatient setting.

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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • Published: June 22, 2021
  • Updated: September 15, 2022
  • 2 min read time
  • This page features 8 Cited Research Articles
Fact Checked
Fact Checked

Our fact-checking process starts with vetting all sources to ensure they are authoritative and relevant. Then we verify the facts with original reports published by those sources, or we confirm the facts with qualified experts. For full transparency, we clearly identify our sources in a list at the bottom of each page.

Cite Us
How to Cite RetireGuide.com's Article

APA Simmons, C. (2022, September 15). Medicare Guidelines for Pulmonary Rehabilitation. RetireGuide.com. Retrieved September 25, 2022, from https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/treatments/respiratory/pulmonary-rehabilitation/

MLA Simmons, Christian. "Medicare Guidelines for Pulmonary Rehabilitation." RetireGuide.com, 15 Sep 2022, https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/treatments/respiratory/pulmonary-rehabilitation/.

Chicago Simmons, Christian. "Medicare Guidelines for Pulmonary Rehabilitation." RetireGuide.com. Last modified September 15, 2022. https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/treatments/respiratory/pulmonary-rehabilitation/.

Why Trust RetireGuide.com
Why You Can Trust Us

Content created by RetireGuide and sponsored by our partners.

Key Principles

RetireGuide’s mission is to provide seniors with resources that will help them reach important financial decisions that affect their retirement. Our goal is to arm our readers with knowledge that will lead to a healthy and financially sound retirement.

We’re dedicated to providing thoroughly researched Medicare information that guides you toward making the best possible health decisions for you and your family.

RetireGuide LLC has partnerships with Senior Market Sales (SMS) and GoHealth.

Our partners are able to be reached through the phone numbers and/or forms provided on our website.

The content and tools created by RetireGuide adhere to strict Medicare and editorial guidelines to ensure quality and transparency.

Editorial Independence

While the experts from our partners are available to help you navigate various Medicare plans, RetireGuide retains complete editorial control over the information it publishes.

We operate independently from our partners, which allows the award-winning RetireGuide team to provide you with unbiased information.

Visitors can trust our inflexibility regarding our editorial autonomy. We do not allow our partnership to influence RetireGuide’s editorial content whatsoever.

2022 Medicare Coverage for Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Since Medicare coverage includes medically necessary treatments, pulmonary rehabilitation is included under Part B.

Your coverage includes 36 sessions, including two one-hour sessions per day. If the treatment remains imperative to your health even after those initial sessions, then you could receive up to 72 sessions.

What is Included in Medicare-covered Pulmonary Rehab?
  • Exercise
  • Education
  • Training
  • Psychosocial assessment
  • Outcomes assessment
  • Treatment plan

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, pulmonary rehabilitation can help people with asthma, pulmonary hypertension and cystic fibrosis.

But Medicare only specifies coverage of pulmonary rehabilitation for those with moderate to severe COPD. At this point, those struggling with COPD are experiencing advanced symptoms that affect their daily lives. As of Jan. 1 2022, Medicare will also cover pulmonary rehabilitation if you’ve confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and experience persistent symptoms that include respirator dysfunction for at least four weeks.

It’s important to remember that just because your doctor recommends or orders a treatment –  even if you have non-COPD conditions – that does not mean that Medicare will consider it medically necessary and cover it.

Expected Costs for Pulmonary Rehabilitation Under Medicare

Medicare Part B will cover 80% of pulmonary rehabilitation costs if you receive treatment in a doctor’s office. A Part B deductible also applies and, once that is met, you pay 20% of the cost for doctor’s office visits.

If you receive treatment as a hospital outpatient, then you will pay a copayment for each session.

You also can be covered through a Medicare Advantage plan, which covers everything included in Original Medicare and features additional benefits.

If you have Medicare Advantage, check with your plan provider to learn if additional coverage is available that is related to pulmonary rehabilitation.

A Medigap plan could also help with some of the out-of-pocket costs you will pay for the rehabilitation, including your Part B deductible and coinsurance.

Clipboard with Medicare Info Need FREE Medicare Help?
Our Medicare experts will help you compare, build, and enroll in a plan that gets you the coverages you need at a price you can afford.

What Is Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation can improve your daily life if you have COPD, a group of ailments that can impact your breathing, often caused by smoking.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, COPD can cause coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and difficulty taking deep breaths. Pulmonary rehabilitation can help alleviate some of these symptoms.

Benefits of Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Improved breathing
  • Increased strength
  • Decreased anxiety and depression

Pulmonary rehab can include a variety of exercises. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, these activities range from breathing techniques like pursed-lip or yoga breathing to nutritional counseling on which foods best fit your condition.

Last Modified: September 15, 2022

8 Cited Research Articles

  1. American Association for Respiratory Care. (2022). Medicare Pulmonary Rehabilitation Update – 2022. Retrieved from https://www.aarc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/aarc-medicare-pulmonary-rehabilitation-update-2022.pdf
  2. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2022). Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/pulmonary-rehabilitation-programs
  3. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, June 9). Basics About COPD. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/copd/basics-about.html
  4. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. (n.d.). Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Retrieved from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/pulmonary-rehabilitation
  5. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). National Coverage Determination for Pulmonary Rehabilitation Services. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/view/ncd.aspx?NCAId=130&NcaName=Smoking+%26+Tobacco+Use+Cessation+Counseling&ExpandComments=n&CommentPeriod=0&NCDId=320&NCSelection=NCA%7CCAL%7CNCD%7CMEDCAC%7CTA%7CMCD&KeyWord=Pulmonary+Rehabilitation&KeyWordLookUp=Doc&KeyWordSearchType=And&kq=true
  6. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Pulmonary rehabilitation programs. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/pulmonary-rehabilitation-programs
  7. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). What’s Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)? Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/supplements-other-insurance/whats-medicare-supplement-insurance-medigap
  8. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d.). What is Medicare Part C? Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/answers/medicare-and-medicaid/what-is-medicare-part-c/index.html