Does Medicare Cover Yoga?

Mike Olmos by Mike Olmos | Licensed since 2010

This article was updated on: 09/12/2018

What is yoga?

Yoga is a mind and body practice that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Many people practice yoga to maintain their health and well-being, improve physical fitness, relieve stress, and enhance their quality of life. Yoga may also help certain specific health conditions such as:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Arthritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

According to the Art of Living, yoga poses involve bending forwards, bending backwards, twisting, lying down, or doing inversions like the shoulder stand, among other movements. Yoga poses sometimes mimic animals, like butterfly pose, cobra pose, fish pose, or locus pose.  Yoga is usually done barefoot with a yoga mat, yoga block, or belt.

What should I keep in mind when practicing yoga?

Yoga is generally low-impact and safe for healthy people, according to NIH. However, yoga should be practiced with the guidance of a well-trained instructor. You may experience pain as a side effect of practicing yoga, although modifying yoga poses or avoiding certain yoga poses may alleviate this pain. People with high blood pressure, glaucoma or sciatica should avoid or modify some yoga poses warns NIH. Keep in mind that everyone’s body is different your yoga practice should be adapted according to your individual abilities.

Does Medicare cover yoga?

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) generally doesn’t cover fitness programs, gym memberships, or yoga classes. To get coverage for yoga classes, you generally need extra coverage.

Does Medicare Advantage cover yoga?

Medicare Advantage is another way to get your Original Medicare benefits through a private insurance company. Medicare Advantage plans must cover everything Original Medicare covers with the exception of hospice care, which is still covered by Medicare Part A. Medicare Advantage plans often offer extra benefits that Original Medicare generally doesn’t cover, such as prescription drug coverage. A Medicare Advantage plan may offer yoga classes as a supplemental benefit to help you improve or maintain good health.

Do you have more questions about Medicare Advantage plans and yoga classes?

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