It has come to my attention the need for more education about massage therapy benefits and the coverage under insurance.

First, providership is essential for the practitioner, whom is qualified by credentialing and training.

Second, is the need to look at the individual (patient’s) plan, provision and policy of the insured, whether it be an individual or group plan. Just because a provider is listed as preferred on your insurance plan does not mean you have benefits covering the provider’s service. Eligibility needs to be authorized prior to starting care.

Third, is the requirement of seeking out care. Most massage therapy coverage is under the rehabilitation out patient services, which combines with other services such as physical, speech and occupational therapy. This again is a combined benefit restricted to a dollar amount or sometime an actual set number of treatments. A patient can seek out combined care as long as a treatment plan is in place. Deductibles, co insurance and co pays need to be satisfied prior to the insurance paying for therapy. A treatment plan (a prescription) needs to be in place to create medical need; hence a diagnosis and frequency of care.

Massage Therapy benefits are not be used for stress, maintenance or chronic pain management unless specifically indicated otherwise under a plan. Never is a full body relaxation massage recognized as medical treatment.
I agree, that the standard of practice in the medical field is focused on what is not functioning verses maintaining and preventing health as a holistic model. But this as of current, is the model the insurance company follows. Rehabilitation is defined as the recovery from an injury, trauma or disease processes to restore what was once normal to a returned state of functionality. Anything short of these provisions, unless stated otherwise is not a covered benefit.

Author's Bio: 

Professional expert massage therapist, Andrew Wolfe, LMP of Harmony Licensed Massage Therapy, based in Arlington Washington, specializes in medical massage therapy. OVER 24 years of local, full time private practice; since 1987. Orthopedic, skeletal, muscle dysfunctions, sports and personal injury, pre and post operative pain and pain management treated. Highly recommended and referred. Auto accident (PIP) personal injury protection injuries, workers compensation and self insured (L&I) and medical insurance claims accepted. Advanced clinical experience and training in the US and in China; training beyond the industry standard. Professional standing in membership with the American Massage Therapy Association and preferred medical provider. Modalities (types) include; Myofascial release, Somatic movement reeducation, Swedish, Deep tissue and Trigger point therapy with gait, postural and ergonomic training incorporated in a holistic approach towards restoration and self improvement since 1987.Quality,effective,natural,restorative. Strong, reliable health care. "Compassionate care, tough on pain." Office is located in the Cumulus Park Health Care Center at 16410 Smokey Point Blvd Suite 303 in Arlington WA 98223; 360-653-4657. Office is first (front) of 2 buildings. Free lighted parking, wheelchair access and bus route/stop in front of building. Serving Snohomish County. Please visit ; or
or call 360-653-4657