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Massage Usage on the Rise

 

Have a look at the latest usage trends on your benefit plan. Where health care services used to amount to perhaps 3%-8% of the claiming activity on a benefit program, it is now creeping up, in some instances, to rival pharmacy and dental usage depending on the demographic make-up and health of an employee group.

With the proliferation of digital access for claiming, it’s easier than ever for employees to attend professional paramedical treatments, such as massage, physiotherapy, and chiropractic and not have to be out of pocket a cent! The argument of the actual “benefit” health wise to point to evidence supporting the actual relief of stress, tension, or other physical aches, will be left to the professionals, but in the meantime, employers are footing the bill for millions in claim dollars the last few years.

In 2016, the majority of adult Canadians (79%) tried at least one form of complementary or alternative medicine, according to a new report from the Fraser Institute.

From the SANOFI Canada Healthcare Survey, 43% of plan members submit claims for massage therapy, with the vast majority being female claimants. Those employees aged 34 and under claim more than other demographics in the group.

In addition to the rise of massage, chiropractic is up by 42%, followed by acupuncture, osteopathy, and naturopathy. Interesting to note, many surveys and reports consulted show actual usage corresponds to the amount eligible under a benefit plan. Health insurance covered a significant proportion of respondents’ costs for massage therapy (69%) and chiropractic (76%).


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