PODCAST Episode 1: Can Massage Therapists improve relations with the insurance industry?

February 11, 2019
By Staff
The relationship between massage therapists and insurance companies can be a tenuous one.

Without provincial health funding, clients of RMTs rely heavily on employee health benefit plans (EHBPs) to finance their massage therapy care. Worker's compensation and auto-insurance are reportedly tough to work with, and increasingly insurers attempt to position themselves as guardians of health care funding.

With adversity rising in relations with some insurers, practitioners worry for this source of funding while insurers are critical on whether utilization of massage therapy provides real value for dollars spent.

In this edition of On The Table, we speak with RMTAO Executive Director Andrew Lewarne on his conversations with GreenShield, the concerns insurance companies are expressing, and what the massage therapy profession can do to improve insurer relations.
About Andrew Lewarne
Before his current position, Andrew worked as an RMT for 20 years in a variety of practice business models. Andrew served on the Board of Directors of the RMTAO acting as both the Chair of the Audit/Finance Committee as well as Vice-Chair. Andrew acted as the Examinations Officer for the College of Massage Therapists' of Ontario (CMTO), and as an Expert Witness for the CMTO and other law enforcement agencies province-wide.

Green Shield Canada "Elephant in the Waiting Room"

Green Shield Canada "We spend more on massage than mental health services...time for a change?"

Benefits Canada "Should employers reduce massage coverage in their benefits plans?"

RMTBC's objection to GSC's "Elephant in the waiting room"

GSC's response to RMTBC's letter

RMTAO membership information

Consider the insurer's perspective

Breaking down ill perceptions of massage in the marketplace 


0 #2 Sara lynn Gilbert 2019-02-13 16:21
Amazing job everyone! Stellar job Andrew! Thank you all. I am sharing this far and wide!
0 #1 Cynthia Eagan 2019-02-12 20:58
Thanks for this podcast. I found the Elephant in the Waiting Room was very troubling and hoped it was written without much thought, rather than calculated criticism aimed at RMTs.

Massage therapy first helped me (30 years ago when it was even less regarded as healthcare). I paid out of pocket for what I could afford, and felt it was more like a lifesaver than luxury. All therapy does not need to hurt. My body hurt, and the massage helped.

One last comment:
Bessel van der Kolk's _The Body Keeps the Score_ discusses massage as a treatment for PTSD. It needs to be more widely known and studied.

Add comment

Security code

Subscription Centre

New Subscription
Already a Subscriber
Customer Service
View Digital Magazine Renew

Most Popular


We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. To find out more, read our Privacy Policy.