Massage therapy is a popular, relaxing, hands-on method of kneading and applying pressure to soft tissues. It can work wonders to help relieve pain and stress in the body.
If you have Medicare Advantage, you’re in luck – because it covers health and wellness services that were not covered by original Medicare (parts A and B). For some Medicare Advantage plan holders, this means that they can finally access massage therapy because it is covered.
Let’s talk about the reasons why your Medicare Advantage plan may cover some or all the costs involved in receiving professional massage therapy, and where you can go in Miami Dade County for outstanding senior medical care.
When Medicare Advantage Covers the Cost of Massage Therapy
If your Medicare Advantage plan includes coverage for massage therapy, chances are it comes with some caveats. The No. 1 thing to know is that Medicare Advantage may not cover the complete costs of massage – meaning that you will be responsible for some of the costs, depending on your specific plan and coverage.
Otherwise, the three main criteria that must be met in order for massage therapy to be covered by a Medicare Advantage plan that includes it are the following:
1. It Must Be Related to a Covered Injury or Illness
“Medical massage” or “therapeutic massage” are terms that have come to mean manipulating soft tissue in the body – e.g., muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia –to aid in the treatment or management of a covered injury or condition. It is this type of massage therapy is covered by some Medicare Advantage plans.
2. An In-Network Doctor Must Order It
3. An In-Network Massage Therapist Must Perform It
You’ll need to make sure the massage is performed by a licensed massage therapist who is also signed up with your Medicare Advantage plan network. He or she will also need to have a national provider identifier.
How Massage Is Beneficial
The health benefits of massage are well-established. These benefits include the massage:
- Improves circulation– By improving blood flow throughout your body, massage therapy can help to transport more oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to areas that are healing –thereby helping injuries and soreness heal faster and more completely. Massage also improves lymph flow, which helps remove cellular waste from the body and helps you feel more energized.
- Lowers blood pressure and facilitates a healthy heart rate – Your blood vessels perform a type of pumping action that moves blood around in your body. Studies have shown that massage therapy improves this vascular action, providing long-term benefits to blood pressure and heart health. When the blood is circulating more freely, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.
- Relaxes the muscles (and the mind) – By focusing on areas where muscles are tight, massage therapy can help muscle tissue relax, which alleviates pain and reduces any painful spasming.
- Increases flexibility – Regular massage can improve your range of motion and flexibility. By staying limber, movement is easier and less painful. Medical massage also helps with balance and posture and can even help prevent future injuries.
- Relieves pain – This is accomplished primarily by relaxing sore muscles, which can relieve compressed nerves and make the muscles less likely to cause painful spasms. Massage therapy also helps to stimulate the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller.
- Boosts energy levels – When your circulation is improved (such as during and after a medical massage), the increased blood flow delivers more oxygen to tired muscles. Meanwhile, the improved lymph flow helps to flush away lactic acid. These actions actively combat fatigue and boost your energy level.
Conditions Helped by Massage Therapy
Almost everyone could benefit from massage therapy. It can help patients address a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions, including:
- Back and neck pain
- Cancer-related pain or fatigue
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Chronic pain
- Frozen shoulder
- Headaches and migraines
- High blood pressure
- Joint pain
- Muscle stiffness, tension, and spasms
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Sleep disorders
- Sports injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Tennis elbow
- Tight muscles
Massage for Medicare Patients in Miami Dade County, FL
If you’d like help in determining how to best utilize Medicare Advantage-approved massage therapy for your medical condition, call Palm Medical Centers today at (833) 500-PALM (7256). We have clinics located throughout South Florida and Central Florida, including in Miami-Dade County, and we look forward to serving you!