It can be a busy (and for some a stressful) time of the year with various holidays and year end activities all happening at once. It is also a time when we start to look at our expenses for the current year, and perhaps begin to think about new budget goals for the coming year. Massage therapy is a great way to help combat the stress and excitement of it all, but not at the expense of the bank account! This post is meant to provide you with some information regarding financial assistance for your registered massage therapy treatments.
If you are one of those lucky folks who have extended health care benefits, think back to this past year and ask yourself if you have taken full advantage of your paramedical or supplementary health care benefits. Some of you may have already used them up much earlier in the year. Way to be proactive! Regular massage therapy helps many people with stress management by decreasing feelings and/or symptoms of depression and anxiety, and promoting a sense of wellbeing by feeling cared for and comforted in a safe, therapeutic space.
If you've yet to tap into all (or any!) of your extended health benefits for the year, the time to book really is NOW! The schedule is being to fill up through the next month, so to ensure you get the most out of your employers health care perks get in touch as soon as you can.
But what if you don't have extended health care benefits? Here in British Columbia you may be eligible for reimbursement from MSP (Medical Services Plan) for a portion of the fee you pay for registered massage therapy.
MSP may reimburse you for $23 per treatment for up to 10 treatments per year if you qualify. I am an "opted-out" practitioner, which means that payment for services rendered will be required at the time the service is provided. Afterwards you may submit your receipt and any additional information required to MSP for reimbursement if you qualify.
And if you don't have extended health care benefits, and are not eligible for reimbursement by MSP for massage therapy treatments? Or maybe you've used your benefits for the year, but you have plans to get more massage therapy this year? You can still get some financial help, this time from the CRA at tax time.
If you live in British Columbia, Ontario, Newfoundland, and most recently New Brunswick, you can claim massage therapy treatments received by an RMT from one of those provinces that has not otherwise covered as a Medical Expense. These are currently the only provinces with Registered Massage Therapy as regulated by a College in their provinces. Talk to your accountant or call CRA for information specific to you if you have questions about how to claim this.
Remember to keep all your health care receipts!
I hope this has help shed some light on the topic of available benefits and financial assistance for massage therapy. Knowing (and using!) the options available to you regarding financial reimbursement allows you to be one step closer to reaching your goals of incorporating regular massage therapy into your health care routines as preventative or rehabilitative therapy.
Please contact me if you have any questions.