Find Out if Your Insurance Plan Covers Massage Therapy to Help You Manage Stress

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Getting massage covered by insurance isn’t as simple as scheduling a procedure and turning over your card. It usually comes with restrictions.

But the benefits of massage therapy are well-documented. And for this reason, many companies are open to paying for it.

In the following article, we’ll be discussing exactly what the health benefits are and how you can go about getting it covered. Let’s begin! 

What Are the Health Benefits of Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy coverage by insurance is increasingly an option for those with chronic pain, sinus issues, or mobility problems. It also can help with stress management.

Looking at how the practice is able to address each area sheds light on why companies have opened up to it. For instance:

It Alleviates Pain

Pain is felt when nerve fibers are badly damaged. Your brain picks up the distress signals and takes it from there. Beyond the initial reception, the ongoing state of pain can lead to additional stress and anxiety that can lead to other health issues.

According to Harvard Health, massage therapy can help the patient by “stimulating” nerve fibers, thus preventing or reducing the intensity of those pain messages in their travel through your nervous system. It also can ease the strain on muscles, tendons, and joints.  

Eases Drainage

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) advises massage therapy can serve patients dealing with edema and lymphedema. These two conditions come about through excess drainage. 

Edema occurs when the body responds to inflammation or injury. Fluids from blood vessels seep into nearby tissues, often producing a deep purple discoloration at the site of the injury. 

Lymphedema is similar but pertains directly to your lymph nodes. It occurs as a result of removal or injury. Massage therapy can stimulate the affected tissues and ease stress around the affected area. 

Improves the Mobility of Your Joints

This particularly is important for our runners. If you’re an avid runner or part of a running group, you know how important joint mobility is. 

Tension around the joints affects how well you’re able to move. Poor mobility greatly reduces your desire and ability to remain active. Lack of activity may lead to issues like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. 

Massage therapy helps lessen inflammation around the joints, taking away some of that pressure. This increases energy levels and boosts your overall health.

Reduces Tension in Your Muscles

Muscle tension occurs when your muscles remain in a state of contraction instead of returning to their resting state. Some knots are obvious while others are nagging and persistent. 

Massage therapy helps to work out those contractions. This gets the muscle group back to its traditional state and allows your body to resume normal activity. 

Does Insurance Cover Massage Therapy?

With all of the benefits we’ve mentioned above, it’s easy to see why a health insurance company would want to cover it. But do they? 

Surprisingly, some don’t. A big reason for that refusal is that they see it as an unnecessary medical procedure.

But tell that to someone who lives with chronic pain! To remove any doubt, you’ll need to get your doctor on board.

How Do You Get Your Doctor on Board? 

Before putting the “does insurance cover massages” question to your doctor, you’ll want to lay the groundwork. This includes the following steps. 

1. Make Sure Massage Therapy Is the Right Call

Massage therapy and chiropractic care often get grouped together. And it’s questionable whether an insurance company provider will pay for either one. Part of that apprehension may be due to uncertainty as to its effectiveness. 

In fact, some patients might be in such a delicate state that massage therapy or a visit to the chiropractor could end up doing more harm than good. Parents of small children especially may want to play it by ear as the child’s immune system is still under development and bones are more brittle than those of an adult. 

Bone tissue tends to weaken as we get older. This makes it a questionable procedure for the elderly as well. So do your homework on whether it’s right for you (or the person in your life considering it). 

2. Review the Terms of Your Policy

Insurance policies aren’t exactly written in the most user-friendly of languages. That started to change with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which mandated more comprehensive coverages be available. 

But if we’ve learned anything from Washington, it’s that policies and issues can change quickly when “the other side” comes to power. It’s up to the consumer to stay informed. 

If you’re uncertain of what your policy covers, you have two primary options: read it line-by-line or talk to a representative from your insurance company. When going the rep route, make sure you ask for a copy of the recorded conversation, track call confirmation numbers, and note the name/position of the person to whom you’re speaking. 

3. Have a Discussion with Your Doctor

Some doctors are more receptive than others. Many get annoyed by the patients who try to diagnose themselves and explain the appropriate course of treatment during Session One. 

Even so, don’t be timid. You are your best advocate. If you’ve found a doctor who isn’t listening to you, go somewhere else. 

While he or she may have the medical knowledge, they don’t know you like you know you. Speak up and explain why you think massage therapy might be the best solution for your issues. 

Massage Covered by Insurance Opens Doors

Getting massage covered by insurance opens the door to a new way of addressing the aches, pains, and annoyances that diminish quality-of-life. It also helps you avoid unnecessary medications or, at the very least, could reduce the amount you’re required to take.

Don’t just assume it’s off the table. Do your research, have a talk with your doctor, and see what options are available in your area. 

Active people, runners especially, are going to experience aches and pains. If you need any tips on how to deal, check out our latest blogs here

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