Therapeutic Massages: Steps to Getting Insurance to Pay for Yours


Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.  Additional reported health benefits of therapeutic massage include:

  • Treating  and Reducing Anxiety
  • Help with Digestive Issues
  • Fibromyalgia Relief
  • Reduction in Tension Headaches and Migraines
  • Sleep Issues
  • Relief from Aches and Pains
  • Assists Healing of Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Treatment of choice for many Sports injuries
  • TMJ

The positive effect of human touch and cortisol relieving massage are now scientifically proven.  Now that we know how good therapeutic massages are for us, we all want to run out and get one.  However, the price for a typical therapeutic massage is anywhere from $45 – $120.  This high price tag might cause more stress than what you are actually relieving!

What can you do to get your next massage paid for through your health insurance?

Follow these steps:

Step 1: Identify a condition or injury that can benefit from medical massage. In order to prove medical necessity for a massage, you must have a recognizable health condition that may respond to massage in a positive way.  One great way to get this covered is for athletes to visit with a sports medicine specialist.  Anyone that works out hard can easily have a sports related injury that will benefit from massage.  These specialist physicians often have in house massage therapists and are very familiar with working with the insurance companies to get this covered.  Many insurance policies say something like this about massage therapy.

If used to reduce stress or improve general health, this is not reimbursable.  However, if prescribed by a physician for a specific illness, injury, trauma or medical condition, this may be reimbursed.

 Step 2: Check your specific insurance policy rules. Before asking your doctor for a referral for a massage, see what exclusions or limitations are listed.

Step 3: Discuss the need for Massage Therapy with your Primary Care Physician. In many HMOs and other plans your primary care doctor must make the referral.  Discuss the medical necessity with the doctor and obtain in writing any diagnosis that will substantiate your therapy needs.  Ask the doctor if he recommends any other treatments that go along with medical massage. Combining these can increase your chance of coverage.

Step 4: Ask for a direct referral to a qualified Massage Therapist. Make sure that the primary care physician’s office makes the referral to the specialist and gives you something in writing for the insurance company.

Step 5: Keep documentation copies.  Make sure you keep copies of the original referral, receipts for other medical appointments for the same condition, notes on your research for the coverage, etc.

I do want to clarify that I am not in any way suggesting that you should “cheat” the insurance company to get yourself a free ride on unlimited massages.  I’m simply pointing out that if you have a legitimate health reason for getting one and you’re paying out those nice high insurance premiums, you should by all means get therapeutic massages paid for by your insurance company.

Healthy Blessings,


Health Secrets 4 Life


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Sandy J Duncan
Sandy Duncan is completing her Doctorate in Integrative Medicine, a health and wellness coach, Certified Neurofeedback specialist and author of Read honest reviews on current health and wellness products as well as register for FREE giveaways.