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Is Softwave Therapy Covered By Insurance

Is Softwave Therapy Covered By Insurance?

Softwave therapy, also known as extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), is a non-invasive medical treatment that uses high-energy sound waves to stimulate healing in various conditions. It has gained popularity in recent years for its effectiveness in treating musculoskeletal disorders, such as plantar fasciitis, tendinopathy, and chronic pain. However, one common concern among patients considering softwave therapy is whether it is covered by insurance. In this article, we will explore the coverage of softwave therapy by insurance providers and provide valuable insights into the topic.

Understanding Softwave Therapy

Softwave therapy works by delivering acoustic waves to the affected area, promoting tissue regeneration and reducing pain. It has been widely used as an alternative to surgery or medication for various conditions, including sports injuries, erectile dysfunction, and cellulite reduction.

Softwave therapy is typically performed in a clinical setting by a trained healthcare professional. The treatment involves the use of a handheld device that emits shockwaves to the targeted area. These shockwaves stimulate the body’s natural healing response, increasing blood flow and promoting tissue repair.

Insurance Coverage for Softwave Therapy

When it comes to insurance coverage for softwave therapy, the situation can vary depending on several factors, including the insurance provider, the specific condition being treated, and the policy terms. While some insurance plans may cover softwave therapy, others may consider it an elective or experimental treatment and exclude coverage.

It is important to note that softwave therapy is still a relatively new treatment option, and insurance coverage for innovative therapies often takes time to catch up. However, as the evidence supporting the effectiveness of softwave therapy continues to grow, insurance providers may start to recognize its value and include it in their coverage.

Factors Affecting Insurance Coverage

Several factors can influence whether softwave therapy is covered by insurance:

  • Insurance Provider: Different insurance providers have different policies regarding coverage for softwave therapy. Some providers may have specific criteria that need to be met for coverage, while others may exclude it altogether.
  • Medical Necessity: Insurance coverage often depends on whether the treatment is deemed medically necessary. If a healthcare professional determines that softwave therapy is the most appropriate and effective treatment for a specific condition, it may increase the chances of insurance coverage.
  • Policy Terms: The terms and conditions of an insurance policy play a crucial role in determining coverage. Some policies may explicitly mention coverage for softwave therapy, while others may not provide any specific information.
  • Pre-authorization: In some cases, insurance providers may require pre-authorization before approving coverage for softwave therapy. This process involves submitting relevant medical documentation and obtaining approval from the insurance company.

Case Studies and Examples

While insurance coverage for softwave therapy may not be widespread, there are instances where patients have successfully received coverage for their treatments. For example, a study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research examined the insurance coverage for extracorporeal shockwave therapy in patients with chronic plantar fasciitis. The study found that 70% of patients received insurance coverage for their treatments, indicating that coverage is possible in certain cases.

Additionally, some insurance providers offer coverage for softwave therapy as part of their extended benefits or supplementary plans. These plans often cover alternative or innovative treatments that are not covered under standard policies. It is worth exploring these options and discussing them with your insurance provider to determine if softwave therapy is covered.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Is softwave therapy covered by Medicare?

Medicare coverage for softwave therapy can vary depending on the specific condition being treated and the policy terms. It is recommended to contact Medicare directly or consult with a healthcare professional to determine coverage eligibility.

2. How can I find out if my insurance covers softwave therapy?

To find out if your insurance covers softwave therapy, you can:

  • Contact your insurance provider and inquire about their coverage policies for softwave therapy.
  • Consult with your healthcare professional, who can help determine if softwave therapy is a medically necessary treatment option and assist with the insurance approval process.

3. What should I do if my insurance denies coverage for softwave therapy?

If your insurance denies coverage for softwave therapy, you have several options:

  • Appeal the decision: You can appeal the denial by providing additional documentation, such as medical records or research supporting the effectiveness of softwave therapy for your condition.
  • Explore alternative coverage options: Some insurance providers offer supplementary plans or extended benefits that may cover softwave therapy. It is worth exploring these options or considering a different insurance provider.
  • Discuss payment plans: If insurance coverage is not available, you can discuss payment plans or financing options with the healthcare provider to make the treatment more affordable.

4. Are there any alternative treatments that may be covered by insurance?

Depending on your condition, there may be alternative treatments that are covered by insurance. It is recommended to consult with your healthcare professional to explore other treatment options and determine their coverage eligibility.

5. Does softwave therapy have any side effects?

Softwave therapy is generally considered safe and well-tolerated. However, like any medical treatment, it may have potential side effects, including mild discomfort, bruising, or temporary skin redness. These side effects are usually temporary and resolve on their own.

6. Is softwave therapy considered experimental?

While softwave therapy is still considered a relatively new treatment option, it is not typically classified as experimental. Many studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in various conditions, and it is increasingly being recognized as a viable treatment option by healthcare professionals.


Softwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment option that has shown promising results in various musculoskeletal conditions. While insurance coverage for softwave therapy may not be widespread, it is possible to receive coverage in certain cases. Factors such as the insurance provider, medical necessity, and policy terms can influence coverage eligibility. It is recommended to consult with your insurance provider and healthcare professional to determine if softwave therapy is covered and explore alternative options if necessary. As the evidence supporting the effectiveness of softwave therapy continues to grow, insurance coverage may become more accessible in the future.