People seek massage therapy for a number of reasons, including relaxation and stress release. Other individuals obtain massage therapy as part of a process of physical therapy. As you consider massage therapy, you need to determine whether your health insurance policy provides coverage for this type of treatment.
The underlying function served by massage therapy is the key consideration as to whether health or medical insurance will cover the treatment. If massage therapy is deemed medically necessary, a typical health insurance policy likely provides at least some coverage for it, according to the University of Minnesota.
A number of factors come into play in determining whether massage therapy is medically necessary. If you suffer an injury that requires physical therapy, massage therapy is considered to be a complementary element of that treatment. Another factor used in determining medical necessity is a consideration of the anticipated benefit of the treatment. For example, merely providing you stress release and relaxation is not likely enough. However, if a demonstration is made that massage therapy hastens recovery, an insurer likely deems it medically necessary.
An increasing number of health insurance companies, HMOs and PPOs provide coverage for massage therapy prescribed by a physician, according to CNN.com. These carriers permit coverage based on the premise that professional massage therapy is useful in assisting people maintain better health and reduces the overall costs associated with medical care.
In addition to some health insurance policies providing coverage for massage therapy, there are automobile insurance polices that allow for this type of coverage in some cases as well, according to the University of Minnesota. As with health insurance, an automobile insurance policy provides coverage for massage therapy following an accident if the treatment is deemed medically necessary and is prescribed by a physician.
A consumer must obtain pre-approval from an insurance company before seeking massage therapy. Even if an insurance policy otherwise pays for massage therapy, the failure to obtain pre-approval for that type of treatment oftentimes results in a denial of coverage.
• CNN.com: Massage Craze -- Hands-on Therapy Attracting More Patients
• University of Minnesota: How Much Does Massage Therapy Cost?
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