The number of massage therapists who received insurance reimbursement decreased a bit in 2010, even while most Americans want to have massage therapy covered by their health plans, according to a report from a national massage association.

The fourth annual Massage Profession Research Report, released recently by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) showed:

• Fifteen percent of massage therapists accepted insurance reimbursement in 2010, a four percentage-point decrease from 2009.

• Massage therapists working in health care were the most likely to receive insurance reimbursement (27 percent), followed by health club workers (22 percent) and sole proprietors (18 percent).

• Americans want their health care plans to cover massage therapy. According to AMTA’s 2010 Consumer Survey, 58 percent of Americans would like to have their health care insurance plan cover massage, which is consistent with last year’s results.

• The only group that did not have a strong reaction to whether massage should be covered by insurance was the 65-and-older age group (34 percent).

• Of the consumers who had received massage in the past five years, only four percent indicated that massage was covered by some type of insurance.

• Seventy-nine percent of massage therapists who received insurance reimbursement indicated that it is a worthwhile practice for their business. (Compared to 68 percent

who thought so in 2009.)

• The average amount of reimbursement received for one hour of massage was $68 per hour in 2010 compared to $70 in 2009.

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National Association Releases Report on Massage Trends