Massage therapy is most known for its amazing relaxation benefits. But aside from providing relaxation to our bodies, it can also help improve our health.

This includes promoting better circulation and increasing flexibility. Improving these can help relieve joint and muscle pain. Two issues that seniors are all too familiar with.

So, for seniors looking to ease joint and muscle pain, a common question many have is, “Does Medicare cover massage therapy?” In this article, we answer that question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of massage therapy and other helpful info.

Does Medicare Cover Massage Therapy?

The short answer is no. In most cases, Medicare will not cover the cost of massage therapy. That said, there may be some situations where you can get these costs covered. Below we’ll take a closer look at this to see when you might be able to get Medicare to pay for your massage therapy.

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not provide coverage for massage therapy. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (or, CMS for short) considers massage therapy to be alternative and complementary medicine . Because of this, Original Medicare will not cover massage therapy even if it is meant for treating medical conditions.

Medicare Advantage Coverage for Massage Therapy

However, some Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) provide coverage for massage therapy. Medicare Advantage plans cover everything Original Medicare covers along with some additional benefits. However, out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on the plan provided by the plan providers.

Some Medicare Part C plans may cover massage therapy because they consider it a supplemental benefit. About 270 Medicare Part C plans cover massage therapy. If your Medicare Part C plan provides coverage for massage therapy, some conditions will have to be met. Those conditions consist of the following:

  • You need massage therapy for treating a condition that is related to an illness or injury, such as chronic pain or limited mobility
  • Your in-network healthcare provider prescribes massage therapy to treat a medical condition covered by Medicare
  • You go to a state-licensed massage therapist who is registered with your plan’s network and has a National Provider Identifier.

Your Medicare Part C plan may not cover 100% of your massage therapy costs and you may owe a copayment or a deductible.

How Much Does Massage Therapy Cost?

Most of the time, massage therapy costs around $100 per session. However, the cost for massage therapy ranges between $65 to $180 per session.

A low-end massage therapy session may cost between $65 to $75, meanwhile, a high-end massage therapy session may cost between $145 to $180 per session.

Aside from the quality, other factors that may affect a massage therapy session’s price are the length of the massage and where you live. They tend to be more expensive in highly populated metro areas and cheaper in less populate areas.

Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Always be sure to double check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.

Additional Info on Medicare Coverage

This article is part of our series on “What does Medicare cover?”

Also, you can check out other articles in this series including: Does Medicare cover a sleep study?

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