It's the Law Now
With the implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act (Known as Obamacare around here) there is a specific section that relates to massage therapy and your health insurance.
SEC. 2706. NON-DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTH CARE. (a) Providers- A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall not discriminate with respect to participation under the plan or coverage against any health care provider who is acting within the scope of that provider’s license or certification under applicable State law. This section shall not require that a group health plan or health insurance issuer contract with any health care provider willing to abide by the terms and conditions for participation established by the plan or issuer. Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing a group health plan, a health insurance issuer, or the Secretary from establishing varying reimbursement rates based on quality or performance measures. (b) Individuals- The provisions of section 1558 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (relating to non-discrimination) shall apply with respect to a group health plan or health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage.
In a nutshell it means that any healthcare provider shall be covered under the ACA. Florida does designate massage therapists as heathcare professionals. It sounds like great news and massage therapy will be covered for health conditions, but it's not looking so optimistic. There is some great information on the section and additional sections that apply to massage therapy on The Integrator Blog.
- Health insurance companies in Florida designate us as out-of-network providers which means high deductibles. I've seen deductibles as high as six thousand dollars! That's an insane amount of massage.
- Some insurance companies are also stating that they are "grandfathered" and Section 2706 does not apply to them. So far this has been insurance through federal programs.
- There is still a lot of unknown in the ACA for consumers, healthcare practitioners, and insurance companies. No one knows exactly how this is going to work.
I also believe that insurance companies will not just start covering massage therapy if they don't have to. If you have a medical condition that massage therapy helps, it's worth a phone call to your insurance company. Specifically ask them about Section 2706.In a perfect world massage would be covered, but there wouldn't need to be a fight. We all know that "perfect" isn't something that exists.