It is common knowledge and widely accepted that medical massage therapy is a treatment to relieve mental stress and muscle tension. What you may not know, is that medical massage therapy is known to help alleviate many painful and chronic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica, whiplash, gout, and carpal tunnel syndrome. For millions of people, medical massage therapy is not just a way to de-stress the body and the mind, but is also an effective treatment to reduce symptoms of medical ailments. The problem arises, when many medical insurance companies consider medical massage therapy an elective, and not a necessary form of medical treatment.
One way to get medical insurances to cover medical massages is to get your current physician to write a referral, that medical massage therapy will aid in the recovery of a certain illness. It is also important that you know the limitations of your medial insurance policy, because a doctors’ referral may not guarantee coverage, as other limitations may exist.
Also, keep very accurate records, which will include a copy of the referral and all dates (such as dates of the injury, date of diagnosis, and who was contacted at the insurance company and when). This is important, because the insurance company may require (at a later date) this information, and having it ready and streamlined may expedite any payments.
In addition, check with your automobile insurance policy, as medical massage therapy may be covered, if this form of treatment is recommended, to treat chronic pain that is a direct result of an automobile accident.
Besides getting the initial referral, it is recommended, in order to increase your chances of successfully receiving payment from your insurance company for medical massage therapy treatment, is to ask your doctor about other treatments that will work in conjunction with massage therapy, that will effectively shorten healing time and decrease levels of chronic pain. For instance, ask about a total holistic healing treatment plan that will aid in overall recovery, while highlighting the benefits of medical massage therapy.
Physical therapist and chiropractic treatments are often covered by medical insurance policies. In fact, some insurance policies offer CAM (Complimentary Alternative Medicine), where a certain number of visits to an acupuncturist, chiropractor, and medical massage therapist are covered. Transportation, to and from such visits, may also be covered under certain policies.
Individuals, who are covered by health management organization (HMO) or recipients of Medicaid and/or Medicare, medical massage therapies are usually not a covered or reimbursable form of treatment (even with a referral).
Workers compensation coverage usually covers medical bills, rehabilitation treatment, and loss of income, if an employee is injured on the job. In this case, if medical massage therapy is required and recommended, as part of the overall treatment plan, then the insurance provider must approve the treatment before payment will be made. In addition, the referral for massage therapy must state the length of time which has been approved, and also the type of massage that has been prescribed by the attending physician.
Depending on the location and the type of coverage, below are some medical insurance companies that may cover medical massage therapy. Some insurance companies that may pay for medical massage therapy in full or in part include providers, such as: Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Tufts Medical and Humana.