How much does physical therapy cost in 2021? | finder.com

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How much does physical therapy cost?

Compare payment options and costs for physical therapy

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If you're a candidate for physical therapy, costs vary significantly based on your insurance, where you live and the hospital or doctor you choose. Each procedure is assigned standardized, 5-digit CPT codes that hospitals and insurance companies use for billing purposes. Use the CPT code to compare prices for physical therapy before scheduling your appointment.

Average cost for physical therapy

If you have health insurance and use an in-network doctor, you can expect to pay $208 for physical therapy on average. If you don't have insurance or you choose an out-of-network doctor, the cost increases to $528.

Average costs are based on the primary cost of physical therapy in the 90201 ZIP code and don't factor in insurance costs like copays or deductibles, or additional fees often charged by doctors or hospitals — like medical supplies, facility fees and support services.

CPT code Procedure ZIP used Description In network total costs Out of network total costs
97110 Physical therapy 90201 Physical therapy, therapeutic exercise $208 $528

Related costs for physical therapy

CPT code Primary procedure Description In network cost Out of network cost
97110 Hospital (outpatient) Hospital outpatient facility (HOSPF) estimate for procedure code 97110 (in addition to your doctor's fee) $155 $398
Total primary & related costs $155 $398

Does health insurance cover physical therapy?

Most health insurance policies cover physical therapy if it's medically necessary and you've met your deductible and any coinsurance or copays specified in your policy. If you don't have health insurance, you may need to pay the full cost of physical therapy out of pocket. The exact amount your insurance pays for physical therapy comes down to your plan and the doctor or healthcare facility you're going to. For the most accurate idea of how much you'll pay out of pocket, contact your insurance company before booking physical therapy.

Does Medicare cover physical therapy?

It depends on your Medicare plan, but generally Medicare covers procedures like physical therapy that are considered medically necessary by your doctor.

  • Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility following a hospital stay, so it typically won't cover physical therapy.
  • Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) pays for emergency, urgent and outpatient care and some preventative services, which means Medicare likely covers physical therapy — but you'll be charged a 20% coinsurance.
  • Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) is a comprehensive plan that combines Part A, Part B and often Part D and should pay for a portion of physical therapy minus any deductible, copay or coinsurance.
  • Medicare Part D (Prescription Drugs) won't cover physical therapy, but it may help to pay for any medication you need as part of your recovery.

What affects the cost of physical therapy?

The price you'll pay for physical therapy varies based on factors like:

  • Your health insurance plan. Your coinsurance, copay and how much of your deductible you've met affects the amount you pay for physical therapy out of pocket, does as whether your doctor or anyone else involved is outside your network.
  • Your location. Where you live dictates which doctors or healthcare facilities you have access to for physical therapy. Urban areas are more competitive, which can drive down costs for physical therapy compared to rural areas.
  • Your doctor. Your doctor's experience and expertise affects how much they charge for physical therapy. And the cost may increase if complications arise during physical therapy and your doctor has to call in other medical professionals.
  • Additional fees. Your healthcare provider may charge associated fees that increase the overall cost of physical therapy.

How to cut your costs for physical therapy

In the leadup to physical therapy, confirm your copay, coinsurance and deductible with your insurer so you know how much you'll pay out of pocket.

  • Dip into your HSA, FSA or HRA. These tax-advantaged accounts can help you to cover out-of-pocket costs for physical therapy.
  • Ask about financial aid. If you can't afford to pay the average cost of $208 with or without insurance, most hospitals and clinics offer financial aid programs that include discounts or interest-free payment plans.
  • Explore outpatient centers. Outpatient facilities tend to charge less for medical procedures like physical therapy, though they're not an option for everyone.
  • Consider medical loans. A medical loan could help pay for anything your health insurance doesn't cover for physical therapy, like copays or coinsurance.
  • Compare doctors and hospitals. Lower the price of medical services by comparing in-network hospitals before you schedule physical therapy. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services require hospitals and clinics to publish online price lists for common procedures, which may include costs for physical therapy.

Bottom line

The price of physical therapy is a major consideration for treatment whether you have health insurance or not. The amount you'll pay for physical therapy can vary between doctors, hospitals, locations and insurance plans, which is why it's worth comparing hospital prices.

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