At, we utilize AI technology to assist in the creation of our content. However, we want to assure our readers that every article undergoes a thorough review and fact-checking process by our human editors before publication. Our goal is to provide accurate, helpful, and valuable information to our audience. Despite our best efforts, if you come across any inaccuracies or errors in our content, please reach out to us at [[email protected]], and we will promptly address the issue.

Does Medicaid Pay For Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy can provide many health benefits, but is it covered by Medicaid? 

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Medicaid coverage of massage therapy varies by state. Some states include massage as a covered service with certain restrictions, while others do not cover it at all under Medicaid.

If you’re wondering whether Medicaid pays for massage therapy, read on for a comprehensive look at the details.

What Medicaid Covers

Medicaid is a government-funded healthcare program designed to provide medical assistance to low-income individuals and families. While the program varies by state, it generally covers a wide range of healthcare services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription medications, and preventive care.

However, when it comes to alternative therapies like massage therapy, the coverage can be more limited.

doctor visits

Medical Necessity

Medicaid typically covers services that are deemed medically necessary. This means that in order for massage therapy to be covered, it must be prescribed by a healthcare provider and deemed necessary for the treatment of a specific medical condition.

Some examples of medical conditions that may qualify for coverage include chronic pain, musculoskeletal disorders, and certain types of injuries.

It’s important to note that Medicaid may require prior authorization for massage therapy services, meaning that the treatment must be pre-approved before it will be covered.

State Plan Services

Each state has its own Medicaid program, known as the State Plan. While all states must provide certain mandatory services, they also have the flexibility to offer additional optional benefits.

Massage therapy may be included as part of a state’s Medicaid State Plan Services, but this will vary depending on the state.

To find out if massage therapy is covered under Medicaid in your state, you can visit your state’s Medicaid website or contact your local Medicaid office for more information.

Optional Benefits

Some states choose to include massage therapy as an optional benefit under their Medicaid program. This means that while it is not a mandatory service, it can be provided to eligible individuals if the state determines it to be beneficial.

However, even in states where massage therapy is considered an optional benefit, there may still be restrictions on coverage, such as a limit on the number of sessions allowed per year or specific qualifications for eligibility.

If you are considering massage therapy and have Medicaid coverage, it is important to check with your state’s Medicaid program to determine if the service is covered and what requirements may need to be met in order to receive coverage.

Massage Therapy Coverage by State

Massage therapy is a popular form of alternative medicine known for its therapeutic benefits. Many individuals turn to massage therapy to alleviate pain, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being. However, one common question that arises is whether Medicaid covers the cost of massage therapy.

The answer to this question varies depending on the state you reside in. Let’s take a closer look at massage therapy coverage by state.

States That Cover Massage Therapy

Several states recognize the value of massage therapy and include it as a covered service under their Medicaid programs. These states understand that massage therapy can be an effective and cost-efficient means of managing certain health conditions.

Some of the states that provide coverage for massage therapy include:

These states have recognized the benefits of massage therapy and have included it as part of their Medicaid coverage options. Individuals residing in these states may be eligible to receive massage therapy services as part of their Medicaid benefits.

States With Partial or Restricted Coverage

While some states provide full coverage for massage therapy, others offer partial or restricted coverage. In these states, massage therapy may be covered under specific circumstances or for certain medical conditions.

For example, Medicaid in Oregon may cover massage therapy for individuals with chronic pain or certain musculoskeletal conditions.

It’s important to note that the specific guidelines and limitations for coverage can vary within each state. It’s recommended to consult your state’s Medicaid website or contact your local Medicaid office for detailed information on massage therapy coverage.

massage therapy

States That Don’t Cover Massage Therapy

Unfortunately, there are states that do not include massage therapy as a covered service under their Medicaid programs. In these states, individuals who rely solely on Medicaid for their healthcare coverage may not have access to massage therapy services.

However, it’s worth noting that this can vary over time as states continuously update and revise their Medicaid coverage options.

If you reside in a state that does not cover massage therapy, there may be other options available to you. Some states offer alternative programs or waivers that provide additional healthcare services.

It’s worth exploring these options and discussing them with your healthcare provider to find alternative solutions.

Requirements and Limitations

Prior Authorization

In order for Medicaid to cover massage therapy, prior authorization is often required. This means that individuals must get approval from their Medicaid program before receiving massage therapy services.

Prior authorization helps ensure that the treatment is medically necessary and appropriate for the individual’s condition. It is important to check with the specific Medicaid program to understand their requirements and procedures for obtaining prior authorization.

Written Prescription

Another requirement for Medicaid coverage of massage therapy is a written prescription from a healthcare provider. This prescription serves as a recommendation for massage therapy as a treatment for a specific condition.

The prescription should include details such as the type of massage therapy recommended and the frequency and duration of the treatment. It is essential to have a valid written prescription in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage.

Medical Diagnosis

Medicaid typically covers massage therapy only for specific medical diagnoses. These may include conditions such as chronic pain, musculoskeletal disorders, or certain types of injuries.

The medical diagnosis serves as a justification for the therapeutic benefits of massage therapy in treating the condition. It is important to have a documented medical diagnosis that aligns with Medicaid’s coverage criteria.

Type of Provider

The type of provider offering the massage therapy also plays a role in Medicaid coverage. Medicaid programs usually require that the massage therapy services be provided by a licensed healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist or a chiropractor.

This requirement ensures that the services are being delivered by qualified professionals who have the necessary training and expertise in providing massage therapy as a medical treatment.

Frequency and Duration Limits

Medicaid may impose limits on the frequency and duration of massage therapy sessions. These limits vary depending on the specific Medicaid program and the individual’s medical condition. For example, Medicaid may cover a certain number of sessions per month or limit the total duration of treatment.

It is important to understand these limitations and work with the healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan that aligns with Medicaid’s coverage guidelines.

It is worth noting that Medicaid policies and coverage criteria can vary from state to state. Therefore, it is important to consult the specific Medicaid program in your state for detailed information on their coverage of massage therapy.

Using Medicaid for Massage Therapy

If you’re wondering whether Medicaid covers the cost of massage therapy, you’re not alone. Many people seek alternative therapies like massage to help manage pain, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being.

While Medicaid does cover a wide range of healthcare services, the coverage for massage therapy varies depending on the state and the specific Medicaid program.

Finding an Approved Provider

The first step in using Medicaid for massage therapy is to find an approved provider. Medicaid typically has a list of approved healthcare professionals who are eligible to provide services under the program.

You can contact your local Medicaid office or browse their website to find a list of approved massage therapists in your area. It’s important to note that not all massage therapists may be covered by Medicaid, so it’s crucial to verify their approval status before scheduling an appointment.

Approved Provider

Verifying Coverage

Once you have found an approved provider, the next step is to verify your coverage. Medicaid coverage for massage therapy can vary depending on factors such as medical necessity and the specific Medicaid program you are enrolled in.

It’s recommended to contact your Medicaid provider directly to inquire about your coverage and any requirements you need to fulfill to be eligible for massage therapy services.

Getting a Prescription

In some cases, Medicaid may require a prescription from a healthcare provider to cover massage therapy. This is especially true if you are seeking massage therapy for a specific medical condition or as part of a treatment plan.

Your healthcare provider can assess your condition and determine if massage therapy is medically necessary. If so, they can provide you with a prescription that you can submit to Medicaid for coverage.

Submitting Claims

Once you have received massage therapy services, it’s important to submit your claims to Medicaid for reimbursement. Each state may have different procedures for claim submission, so it’s essential to follow the instructions provided by your Medicaid provider.

Keep all necessary documentation, such as receipts and any required forms, to ensure a smooth claims process.

Alternatives for Massage Coverage

Private Health Insurance

While Medicaid may not typically cover massage therapy, there are other options to consider. One alternative is private health insurance. Many private insurance plans offer coverage for alternative therapies, including massage.

It’s important to review your policy and speak with your insurance provider to determine if massage therapy is covered and what the requirements are for reimbursement. Some insurance plans may require a doctor’s referral or a specific diagnosis to qualify for coverage.

Private Health Insurance

Medicare Advantage Plans

Another option to explore is Medicare Advantage plans. These plans are offered by private insurance companies and provide the same benefits as Original Medicare, plus additional coverage options.

Some Medicare Advantage plans may include coverage for alternative therapies like massage therapy. It’s important to review the details of each plan and speak with a Medicare representative to determine if massage therapy is covered and what the requirements are for reimbursement.

Paying Out-of-Pocket

If private health insurance or Medicare Advantage plans do not cover massage therapy, another option is to pay out-of-pocket. While this may seem like a financial burden, many people find the benefits of massage therapy outweigh the cost.

Massage therapy has been shown to reduce stress, relieve pain, and improve overall well-being. Consider the potential long-term benefits when deciding whether to pay for massage therapy out-of-pocket.

Massage Therapy Schools

One unique option to explore is contacting massage therapy schools in your area. Some schools offer discounted or low-cost massages as part of their training programs.

While the therapists may be students, they are supervised by experienced instructors, ensuring a safe and effective massage experience. This can be a great option for those on a tight budget who still want to experience the benefits of massage therapy.


While Medicaid massage coverage is limited in many states, there are still options for getting massage paid for if it is medically necessary.

Understanding your state’s specific policies, getting a doctor’s prescription, and finding an approved provider can help you access massage therapy through Medicaid if it is available in your area.

Otherwise, exploring other insurance or payment alternatives can make professional massage more affordable.

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts