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Posted on: February 17, 2020

Does Health Insurance Pay For Massage Therapy?

Since different companies provide health insurance coverage in the United States, it's impossible for an article about this topic to give readers a definite answer about their unique individual situations. Private insurance carriers, Medicare and Medicaid requirements and other factors come into play when discussing massage therapy. People usually can't receive coverage for any form of massage therapy without a doctor's referral that clearly states that the therapy is medically necessary. Most health insurers pay for medically necessary treatments performed by a licensed massage therapist. Insurers typically don't cover trips to the day spa for people who believe that a nice massage would feel great on a particular day.


That said, if you have a medical condition that can be alleviated by massage, then you shouldn't have too much difficulty. For example, if you have lymphedema that has caused extreme swelling in your arms and legs, your insurance company likely covers lymphatic drainage massage because it is considered a legitimate form of medical massage and treatment for lymphedema. Your insurer might also cover myofascial release massage for fibromyalgia or another type of massage to reduce the pain that occurs with a wide range of other conditions like arthritis and sciatica. Athletes are typically okay to seek out prescribed massage therapy treatments as well. Depending on your insurance provider, you might even receive coverage for therapeutic massage designed for patients who suffer from anxiety or depression.


It's always best that you check with your insurance provider about your coverage. A member service representative at the number on your insurance card can go over the types of massage that your policy covers. If you're too ill to make that call, your doctor or one of their staff members can check with your insurer before you start treatment. Additionally, it's important to keep in mind you have other options if your insurer won't pay and you absolutely need therapy: Most licensed massage therapists, like other medical professionals, offer patients multiple payment options, such as a large discount for paying in cash upfront and low- or no-interest installment repayment plans.

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