Many clients ask about insurance and massage. Well, the answer is not simple.
First, in Texas, massage therapists cannot bill health insurance companies directly. Some exceptions include when there is an auto accident for which massage is being covered as treatment under the auto insurance and some kinds of workman’s comp claims. There may be ways to have a referral from your physician to a qualified massage therapist and THIS may allow YOU to file the insurance claim after receiving and paying for the massage.
In general, the path you need to take to discover the answer is to communicate with your insurance provider. Here is a helpful simple article about steps you should take to see if your provider may cover massage for you… Natural News Article about Massage and Insurance
BEFORE you talk with your doctor, though, make sure that the condition you are experiencing is generally regarded as being helped by massage. Keep a record of the pain, restricted motion, and what causes it; if there was a specific action that you recall as instigating the pain, that is incredibly helpful in many ways.
Certainly sports injuries, repetitive stress injuries, and TMJ fall into the category that massage is known to help and there are others. The doctor you select will make a difference too. Sports injury doctors will understand the injury you are experiencing, a dentist or orthodontist will understand TMJ.
There are also many TYPES of massage and many techniques performed by massage therapists that have associated billing codes. The billing code must correlate with a diagnosis code provided by the physician. THIS diagnostic is the health issue for which you are seeking massage as relief.
Massage therapists are working hard to learn how to clearly document the use of massage for specific issues. The research is difficult to design because of the wide range of variables and the difficulty of isolating specific techniques that will work for ALL of a certain type of issue- for instance fibromyalgia. We tend to want to use techniques that we believe will help and it is often difficult to stick with a specified protocol when you know that for THIS particular client, a little ease in the tension in “THIS muscle” will help but “THIS muscle” is not in the designed protocol.
Measurements also are sometimes confusing. Massage tends to help in so many areas, that often there are greater improvements in the areas that are more quality of life oriented and peace of mind than the actual painful or restricted area. Also clients tend to become quickly accustomed to feeling better, and then the comparative pain levels start from there instead of recalling the initial pain levels. Thus, pain is not a really good measure although it tends to be one that is helpful to understand the other results. There is a significant link between pain and tension levels and the attitude or level of internal “peace” of a client.
Having increased “Peace” within by reducing tension in the musculature has been shown to help you be more productive, and have a much better outlook. This is part of the mind- body connection.
NOTE: People who have health savings plans or cafeteria plans may have a little easier time paying for massage with the pre-tax dollars of those accounts than folks have with billing insurance. More on that later.