First of all, it should be mentioned that massage therapy gains more respect in the healthcare sphere.
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, it is more likely that massage therapy will be reimbursed by healthcare insurance.
Different healthcare policies provide various deals but you need to meet some requirements.
Usually, an insurance covers some specific conditions and requires a medical practitioner prescription.
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Considering the interest of the healthcare community to alternatives to narcotic drugs, numerous insurances consider massage as a prescription.
You need to know that the location is very important as well when it comes to healthcare insurance.
Regional Health Insurance Trends
Recently there were held researches that pay attention to regional issues of health insurance policies.
The main attention is paid to northeastern states but some multi-state aspects are included as well.
According to the research results, massage therapy is widely recognized in the West and it is often included in health insurance policies.
There are numerous policies that cover massage therapy but with some limitations.
In some cases, it is not enough to be a certified massage therapist.
Massage should be apart of a treatment offered by a healthcare provider.
Some providers offer massage therapy as an optional part of their rider.
Also, you need to know that some plan providers may also have a list of preferred providers that may offer services.
Insurance Options in the Pacific Northwest
Among the first states that included massage therapy in insurance policies, there was Washington.
There are numerous plan providers that include massage/ CAM benefits into their plans as well as a bunch of preferred practitioners in Washington and Oregon.
Some of them have rather lengthy lists of insurers.
Massage Discounts Offered through Healthcare Plans
There is a variety of insurance providers that offer their clients discounts for massage therapy.
The American Massage Therapy Association provided a guide on how you can use these discounts.
Usually, companies contract with specific massage therapists.
In most cases, it should be therapists that work in clinical settings and services must be covered liability insurance.
In other words, the healthcare sphere markets massage therapists’ services.
As you can see an insurance plan may offer massage therapy in the form of reimbursement or as discounts.
For example, according to Kaiser Permanente, most plans include massage therapy only in those cases when it is determined as medically necessary.
There is an opportunity to apply for the Complementary Choices Discount Plan that covers services out of the reimbursement requirements or those out of the allowed number of visits.
Also, Kaiser Permanente claims that all listed massage therapy providers meet the requirements of the organization as well as the state licensing board.
Reimbursement from Other Payers
Massage can be covered by some types of insurance in those cases it is prescribed as a treatment.
For example, those who were involved in a motor vehicle accident can get their treatment covered by auto insurance.
Individuals who’ve been injured at work can get their treatment including massage that is covered by worker’s compensation.
In other words, it depends on the claimant circumstances that can be specified through state agencies.
For example, the state of Oregon provides the list of massage therapists who can provide treatment to worker’s compensation claimants who are not enrolled in Managed Care Organizations.
To be able to provide treatment to workers compensation claimants who were enrolled in an MCO, a massage therapist should be an MCO-panel provider.
Among the available MCOs in Oregon, there is Kaiser Permanente On-The-Job.
In Pennsylvania, there are numerous massage therapy benefits provided through worker’s compensation.
Becoming a Preferred Provider
There are multiple organizations that contract with WholeHealth Networks if they need assistance with CAM networks.
If you want to become one of those therapists who provide treatment covered by the insurance, there are a few organizations that accept applications.
To get info about the application process and required materials, you can look for info at various insurance providers.
Just keep in mind that the process can involve lots of paperwork.
If you look for some useful resources for massage therapists who accept insurance reimbursement or are considering doing so, you can visit the AMTA website.
Envisioning the Future
Working in this sphere, you may be interested in the latest developments.
To convince people that this type of therapy can bring lots of benefits if it is put in the evidence-based category, it may take some extra research.
You need to know that every year those things that are considered experimental and evidence-based change.
It is related not only to the clinical trials but also to the way massage therapy is involved in advocacy.
If you are looking for tips for dialoguing with insurance providers about legislative issues, you can use resources provided by the AMTA.
Also, there is some useful info for patients who want to learn how to ask for a massage therapy prescription.
At the Wexner Medical Center website, there are some great tips about asking a healthcare provider for massage prescription.
You need to know that there are lots of people interested in the fact that massage therapy is included in the insurance benefits.
According to the data, 64% of people would like to have insurance that covers massage therapy.
There are numerous patients who address their healthcare providers to discuss the possibility of adding massage to their policies.
In 2017, a group of attorney generals writes a letter asking for insurance coverage of numerous therapies that can be used instead of opioids.
Massage therapy is included in the letter as well.