Many Canadians are not aware that their health insurance may cover massage therapy through their employer for them and their children! Almost all insurance policies have a maximum coverage for a certain period of time (usually one year). Unless you change your insurance plan, you may have to pay yourself if you exceed this maximum within a year. Basically, you're letting your coverage expire if you have a plan but haven't used the full benefits of massage yet.
Massage therapy health insurance benefits are highly appreciated and often used by many people. Not unexpected given how wonderful and relaxing a massage feels! But is massage therapy really covered by health insurance? And how much coverage is actually offered by a regular health insurance plan for registered massage therapists? Read on to learn more about these issues and their benefits for making the best decision possible.
What exactly is massage therapy?
The act of massaging a person in order to promote their well-being and healing is known as massage therapy. When we discuss massage therapy and insurance coverage, we always refer to massages performed by registered massage therapists (ie, someone who has studied and received accreditation in massage therapy). Paramedical coverage, which covers the benefits of care from chiropractors, psychologists and physical therapists, includes massage therapy as one of its categories (just to name a few).
Employee massage therapy insurance benefitsEmployee benefits and individual health insurance plans are the two main forms of private health insurance in Canada. Employee benefits are also known as “group insurance” and your employer is the source of your coverage. Your unemployment insurance coverage will also be lost if you lose your job. One of the coverages that fall under the so-called “paramedical” benefits is massage therapy. As stated earlier, paramedical care includes the services of chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, naturopaths, and speech therapists.
The following goes on to list the massage therapist staff benefits:
A trained physician benefit that is covered.
Typically, there is no “per visit” limit (unlike an individual health insurance plan).
The annual plan maximum of each type of coverage for paramedics serves as a coverage cap (eg, a maximum per type of coverage).
Many group insurances require a doctor's referral.
Maximum annual coverage amounts can range from $350 to $750.
Maximums for employee benefits are typically higher than maximums for individual health plans.
Employers in Canada would likely not be able to deal with the rising costs of sick employees if they provided more health benefits for massage therapy rather than providing more coverage for pharmaceutical drugs. In the United States, massage therapy is often only covered when it is medically necessary. Massage therapy is considered preventive health care by many as it can help reduce work stress. among other benefits.
Massage differs from other non-medical benefits. Even when there is no underlying medical condition, many people receive massage treatments because they find them soothing and enjoyable. No one goes to a chiropractor or physical therapist unless they are experiencing some kind of pain or discomfort, and they don't go to places like airports or shopping malls where massage therapists are likely to be found. While employees often appreciate massage therapy, companies are often reluctant to improve their coverage.
But companies looking for ways to save money should consider the following changes when designing their plan:
Cost sharing:A typical massage therapy coinsurance rate is up to 100%, with an annual cap of $500 per covered family member. Where is the motivation for employees to make sensible use of this benefit? Immediate cost savings through reducing co-insurance or introducing a maximum limit on visits may also persuade plan participants to reconsider the need for therapy.
Limit who gets coverage:
Massage therapy is considered a luxury benefit in the eyes of some organizations. Plan sponsors often think of limiting coverage to employees only and sometimes excluding it for dependents, which is unfortunate as massage therapy can be very beneficial for minors with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. In fact, companies should increase coverage, not decrease it.
Alternative therapies:Massage is often used to relieve stress and tension. It's debatable whether regular mindfulness meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, and other relaxation methods are more or less effective for long-term stress reduction, and how much, if anything, they might cost.
Family health insurance and personal health insurance are other names for individual health insurance. It is acquired individually and not through an employer. As long as premiums are paid, coverage will continue. Individual health plans classify massage therapy as paramedical coverage, as does group health insurance. Individual plans typically include “per visit” maximums, and some policies also have a limited number of visits per year, unlike group insurance. The most frequent maximum values per visit are around US$ 20. Below is a list of massage therapy services covered by individual health plans:
One of the paramedics' capes is present.
The maximum annual coverage is imposed by the plan (often applied to all paramedic services combined).
There is usually a maximum fee for each visit.
A maximum number of visits per year may be allowed.
For massage therapy, many personal health insurances require an annual medical certificate. Manulife's Flexcare and FollowMe plans are an exception to this rule.
Top 7 benefits of massage therapy for employers
The following health benefits of massage therapy go beyond just how wonderful it feels:
1. Improves blood flow to the limbsThe biggest benefit for seniors is improved circulation, according to Lima. Therapeutic massage significantly improves blood flow to the limbs, which can become more challenging as we age.
2. Soften hard tissues and muscles
As we generally become less active as we age, our muscles become tighter and harder. By increasing blood flow to the affected areas and thereby decreasing overall muscle tension, massage helps to soften the muscles and tissues.
3. Increases nervous system stimulationMassage therapy releases neurotransmitters, hormones and endorphins that are good for the functioning of the nervous system. This claim has been consistently supported by research showing how massage therapy helps the body create hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which have huge positive effects (the happiness hormone).
4. Expand your flexibility
It's crucial to help our old muscles relax, as they become tense from inactivity. Therapeutic massage relaxes stiff muscles and joints, allowing for greater range of motion in daily activities.
5. Facilitates recovery after a strokePreviously, bed rest was recommended after a stroke for up to 48 hours, due to concerns of causing another. But things have changed and seniors are now advised to get up and move around after a stroke. Therapeutic massage, which stimulates damaged areas while focusing on anything that may be stalled, is a great help in this regard.
6. Emits energy and feelings of affectionBecause massage can promote feelings of compassion and connection, some people find it enjoyable. Many seniors are deprived of touch due to the loss of a spouse or partner, says Lima. Your ability to relax is greatly aided by the touch of the massage.
7. Increases gait and balanceAs our bones tend to become more fragile as we age, falls are often ranked as one of the greatest dangers for seniors. Massage helps improve proprioception, or the sense of the relative position of body parts, by increasing blood flow to the limbs. This improves balance and reduces the risk of falling, as proprioception is the sense of the relative position of body parts.
This time of year is again when you evaluate your remaining massage insurance benefits for the year. Everyone is aware that most policies have an annual dollar cap on the amount of coverage they offer and typically expire at the end of December. But did you realize that you will lose your advantages if you don't use them all during the year? There is no transfer of benefits to the following year. Don't waste your benefits package - you've worked hard for it!
Book a massage appointment for much-needed relief and relaxation. Lying down on a warm massage table and massaging away all the tension and stress is the best way to welcome the cool weather. Afterwards you feel like a completely new person.
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In few wordsWe conclude that massage has a wide range of applications, as it improves physical and mental health problems and is a successful preventive therapy. That's why you should take advantage of massage therapy, whether covered by your health plan or not, during the busy holiday season. We really hope you found this article about how health insurance covers massage therapy to be informative.