Does Medicare cover Massage Therapy?

Greg Wilson

Updated on:


    Massage therapy can help you treat your health issues if you have the right coverage. When it comes to Medicare and massage therapy, this guide can help you.

    Whether for stress or recovering from injuries, plenty of people loves taking advantage of massage therapy. Studies show that about 15 percent of people each year get a massage. 

    If you get your medical coverage through Medicare, you may be wondering if you can use your plan for massage treatments. 

    Is it covered under your plan? What are the benefits of massage therapy?

    Read on to learn these answers and more about Medicare and massage therapy. 

    What You Should Know About Medicare and Massage Therapy

    If you're a Medicare recipient, you should always research your treatment first to see if it's covered.

    Here's how Medicare handles massage therapy:

    Most Medicare Plans Classify Massage Therapy as Alternative Therapy

    For starters, Medicare plans most typically won't cover massage therapy because it's categorized as an alternative therapy rather than a medically necessary treatment. 

    As such, you'll typically have to pay for your massage therapy treatments outside of Medicare. 

    Specific Medicare Advantage plans cover massage therapy

    How Medicare works is people 65 or older or with eligible disabilities receive coverage for hospital or medical services, per their Part A or Part B plans. Part D covers prescriptions. The Federal government regulates all plans. Medicare Advantages allows private companies to offer coverage for these matters and others that original Medicare won't cover. 

    Specific Medicare Advantage plans are starting to cover massage therapy treatments. 

    According to the Better Medicare Alliance (BMA), more than 100 Medicare Advantage plans are beginning to cover alternative treatments such as massage therapy. They're also expanding services to include non-medical needs like grocery trips and bank errands.  

    So if massage therapy is a priority for you, definitely look into a Medicare Advantage plan. For example, some patients can get chiropractic massage for covered medical events.

    Even though massage therapy is not covered, you still might be eligible to get certain types of massages. For instance, a patient might use chiropractic massage to help correct a misaligned spine. 

    If deemed necessary, your Part B plan could cover this chiropractic massage.

    Learn All About the Benefits of Massage Therapy

    People use massage therapy for so many reasons. 

    Massage therapy is beneficial because it can relieve your anxiety, lower stress levels, soothe acute pain, improve blood circulation, and give you more energy and better sleep. 

    These tips can help you recover from an injury and live a healthier and more abundant life. 

    Assess the Cost of Massage Therapy

    So how much does massage therapy cost? According to studies, the national average cost is about $60 per hour

    You'll need to consult with your massage therapy personally to learn their rates and compare them. 

    Factor in Massage Therapy as You Figure Out Your Medical Needs

    Now that you know more about Medicare and massage therapy, you can start making the best decisions for yourself. 

    Reach out to a licensed insurance agent that can tell you more about our resources as you shop for medical coverage.