Billing Insurance for Massage Therapy: CPT Codes and FAQs

Massage therapy has become common thanks to its various advantages, like promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and managing other health conditions. Because of this, more and more people are willing to opt for it. With its growing acceptance, many individuals are finding ways to include massage therapy in their healthcare routines. In addition to this, they are also exploring the possibility of having their insurance cover the costs.

In order to make it more accessible, there is a need to understand insurance billing for massage therapists. Whether you’re a practitioner or a patient seeking reimbursement, this article will guide you by providing valuable information to ensure a smooth billing experience.

Understanding Insurance Billing for Massage Therapists

As massage therapy becomes more integrated into general healthcare, several insurance companies now offer coverage for these therapy sessions. However, going through the process of understanding insurance billing can be problematic for both massage therapists and their clients.

The Importance of Health Insurance Coverage

The Importance of Health Insurance Coverage

Health insurance coverage for massage therapy significantly reduces the financial burden on patients. It allows everyone to access this useful treatment without worrying about the full cost out of their pocket. For many, this can significantly affect their ability to get regular massage therapy.

CPT Codes for Massage Therapy

The American Medical Association (AMA) has established specific CPT codes for various medical procedures, including massage therapy-related services. Properly using these codes is essential for accurately billing insurance for massage therapy services. For massage therapy, specific CPT codes must be used to describe the various techniques and duration of the therapy session, as these help standardize medical procedures.

CPT Code 97124: Massage therapy

CPT Code 97124 refers to massage therapy techniques to reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation. It encompasses a range of massage modalities designed to address different health concerns.

CPT Code 97140: Manual therapy techniques

Manual therapy techniques involve hands-on manipulation to treat soft tissue restrictions and joint dysfunctions. It benefits patients with musculoskeletal issues and is often included in massage therapy sessions.

CPT Code 97112: Neuromuscular reeducation

This code applies to techniques that enhance neuromuscular control and coordination. It may be used with massage therapy to aid patients in regaining functional movements.

CPT Code 97110: Therapeutic exercise

While not exclusive to massage therapy, this code covers therapeutic exercises that may complement massage sessions, promoting recovery and improving overall well-being.

The Importance of Accurate Documentation

The Importance of Accurate Documentation

Accurate documentation is necessary when providing insurance billing for massage therapists. Not only does it support the medical necessity of the provided services, but it also helps in avoiding claim denials and potential audits.

Ensuring Medical Necessity

Insurance companies usually ask for evidence of medical necessity to approve reimbursement for massage therapy. Proper documentation should include the patient’s condition, symptoms, treatment plan, and the therapeutic benefits expected from massage therapy. Physicians or other qualified healthcare providers may need to provide referrals and explain why massage therapy is essential for the patient’s well-being.

Proper Coding and Modifiers

Selecting the appropriate CPT codes is essential, but sometimes additional modifiers may be necessary. Modifiers are two-digit codes added to the CPT codes to provide further service details. For example, a modifier might specify the patient’s location during the therapy or indicate that it was a significant procedure. Using modifiers correctly ensures precise billing and reduces the risk of claim denials.

The Process of Insurance Billing for Massage Therapists

Billing insurance for massage therapy involves several essential steps to ensure proper reimbursement.

Contacting the insurance provider

Before proceeding with billing, it is crucial to communicate with the insurance provider and understand their policies regarding massage therapy coverage.

Verifying coverage and benefits

Once the patient’s eligibility for coverage is established, it is essential to verify the extent of the benefits available under the insurance plan.

Pre-authorization and prior approvals

In some cases, pre-authorization or prior approval may be necessary before commencing massage therapy sessions.

Keeping accurate records

Maintaining thorough and accurate records of each session and the treatment provided is essential for successful insurance billing.

Complexities in Billing Insurance for Massage Therapy

Complexities in Billing Insurance for Massage Therapy

Despite the potential benefits, billing insurance for massage therapy can be perplexing.

Understanding complex insurance terminology

Insurance policies often include complex terminology that may be difficult for individuals to understand and may require experts’ help.

Handling denials and appeals

Insurance denials are quite common, and the appeals process can be complex, requiring persistence and understanding of the system.

Maximizing reimbursement

Massage therapists must explore all insurance companies to maximize reimbursement and ensure fair service compensation.

Ways to Avoid Delays and Denials

Ensure your practice is credentialed

You must have your practice credentialed before you can bill any insurance company. Credentialing is necessary for almost all insurance companies and various government plans. Though the exact prerequisites for this may differ for different companies, typically, it involves verifying documents and licenses.

Confirm your patient’s insurance eligibility

A common problem that most medical practitioners encounter while billing is finding out patients don’t have an eligible plan for the services they rendered. It’s wise first to check the insurance plans of the patients with the company to avoid any hassle later on during reimbursements.

Stay up to date with new codes

Changing CPT codes isn’t uncommon in massage therapy. Codes can be modified or completely new ones can be generated. In order to avoid any problems, stay up to date with CPT codes.


Patients as well as therapists could stand to gain substantially from insurance billing for massage therapists who make use of the appropriate CPT codes. Anyone who is interested in receiving this beneficial therapy will have fewer financial barriers to overcome as a result of this as well as increased access to an essential form of medical care. The process, on the other hand, might be difficult and calls for an in-depth knowledge of insurance requirements. By embracing the complicated procedures of massage treatment and making sure appropriate documentation is maintained, massage therapists may make it more accessible to everyone.


Do all insurance plans cover massage therapy?

It’s not always the case that massage therapy is covered by insurance policies. This will be determined by the specific policy and all of its requirements. There are some plans that only provide a portion of the coverage, while there are others that might not include it at all.

How to find if my insurance covers massage therapy?

Get in touch with the business that offers the massage therapy to find out if it is covered by your insurance, or review the policy to find out if it is covered at all. You may also wish to consult with your primary care physician or a massage therapist for guidance.

Can I use CPT codes for massage therapy if I am not licensed?

No, only licensed healthcare providers, including licensed massage therapists, can use CPT codes for billing insurance for massage therapy services.

Can I Bill Insurance for Personal Relaxation Massages?

No, insurance companies typically cover massage therapy for medically necessary reasons, such as pain management or injury recovery. Personal relaxation massages are not eligible for insurance reimbursement.

What Should I Do If My Claim Gets Denied?

If your claim for massage therapy reimbursement is denied, don’t panic. It could be a simple error that can be corrected. If you believe the denial is unjustified, you can file an appeal with the insurance company, providing additional supporting documentation.