How To Get A TENS Unit Covered By Insurance

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If you suffer from chronic pain, then you’re aware of how debilitating it can be to not be able to get on with everyday tasks and obligations without the help of painkillers.

However, taking pain medication many times a day comes with its own risks of side effects, which is why many people have now taken the more natural route of using traditional medicine like acupuncture, or electrotherapy devices like a TENS unit. 

But these come with a cost. So, is it possible to not have to pay for a TENS device? In this blog post, I’ll discuss how to get a TENS unit covered by insurance.

Sadly, many insurance companies will not pay for TENS therapy – they’d rather you stay on the pill treadmill. That said, here are some tips on how to approach the issue.

How To Get A TENS Unit Covered By Insurance


If you’ve been wanting to try out electrotherapy with a TENS unit to help you deal with your painful condition, then the investment needed to do this at home may be something that has stopped you from purchasing one.

And with the endless rising cost of living, you definitely want to make sure that you’re not left out of pocket if you need a TENS unit for managing and controlling your pain at home.

Having constant access to a TENS unit will not only provide you with the convenience of treating your pain whenever you need it, but also allow you to control your symptoms without having to take medication, which can give you adverse reactions that you don’t need on top of your condition.

Unfortunately, many health insurers refuse to provide coverage for alternative pain treatments, which include TENS devices. You will need to check your own policy at the first instance. Of course, you always have the option to buy or even rent a TENS device, if this is the case.

The best way to do it is to search for your insurance provider’s name + TENS unit.

Here are a few popular insurers:

If you do find that your health insurance provider will pay for your TENS unit, there are a lot of hoops that you’ll have to jump through in order for you to get one. This is an unfortunate cog in the wheel of a system that makes money by keeping you taking its drugs consistently. 

And even when your health insurer will allow you to apply for a TENS unit using your coverage, then you will need to provide documentation, and other criteria, that include items like:  

What You Will Need For TENS Unit Insurance Coverage

  • Your physician must deem a TENS unit necessary at treating your pain condition
  • You must take part in a 30-day trial of TENS treatment, followed up with another assessment of your pain symptom
  • The trial must happen under direct medical supervision
  • You pain has so far not responded to other medical treatment for a duration of at least 90 days

As you can see, getting a TENS unit to manage your pain isn’t exactly easy, although it can be done in some cases.

Medicare Coverage For TENS Unit

Although a TENS unit is generally considered to be safe when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, Medicare claims that not enough research has been done to provide ‘strong evidence’ that TENS units are a viable pain treatment option.

It is considered an alternative therapy that hasn’t been able to produce consistent results because of this. 

Although a TENS unit is generally considered to be safe when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, Medicare claims that not enough research has been done to provide ‘strong evidence’ that TENS units are a viable pain treatment option.

What Medicare considers this lack of evidence may in some way explain why the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) decided that it would no longer cover TENS treatments for chronic lower back pain in 2012.

However, like with anything, there can be exceptions to this rule in certain situations. So it is best to discuss this with your health practitioner to see if you can find ways around it, such as being enrolled in an approved Medicare clinical study.

If you have a private insurer Medicare Advantage health insurance plan, then you might be able to get approval for coverage of a TENS unit. But again, your physician will have to prove you can’t do without the device, which can be a long process. 

Final Thoughts

Suffering with chronic pain takes a toll not just on your body, but on your mind, due to the stress of not being able to relax, sleep, or even get through the day without feeling depressed and in pain. So, how do you get a TENS unit covered by insurance?

It’s not impossible for you to be able to get your health insurer to provide coverage for this, but it will be a struggle. That means you’ll need to find other home pain management solutions, which may include renting or buying a home TENS unit.

The good news is that many of these units are not very expensive, such as the Auvon TENS unit . Given the price point, it may be easier to just purchase one rather than fight insurance.

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Last update on 2024-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API