In the coming year, Alberta Blue Cross and Manulife Insurance will join SunLife Insurance in adopting a policy that requires Massage Therapy providers to have 2200 hours of formal education or a 2200-hour competency equivalency.
This means that only health benefit receipts from Massage Therapy practitioners with '2200 hours' of initial training or a 2200-hour competency equivalency will be accepted by these health benefit providers.
NHPC continues to monitor this issue and will advise members should other third-party payers adopt similar standards.
To meet the 2200-hour training requirement, NHPC is creating recognition solutions & career options for massage therapists who do not have 2200 hours of formal education.
A key component of NHPC’s approach is to redevelop the Massage Therapy Competency Assessment Process (MTCAP), which was reviewed at its one-year anniversary.
The review included consultations with relevant Canadian insurance companies, and the results indicated that MTCAP had to be made more robust to meet Manulife and Alberta Blue Cross requirements.
The redeveloped process will be called the Competency Equivalency Exam (CEE), to be better reflect its purpose and format.
NHPC hopes to complete development of the CEE by the end of Summer 2012 and begin implementation immediately thereafter ahead of Manulife's October 1, 2012 deadline. Processing NHPC Massage Therapy members who choose to participate in the CEE is expected to run through late Spring 2013.
Any NHPC Massage Therapy member who does not have 2200 hours of initial training and who wishes to be recognized by Manulife Insurance and Alberta Blue Cross will need to apply to NHPC for the CEE designation.
Note: The Competency Equivalency Exam does not apply in provinces that have regulated the profession of Massage Therapy (Ontario, BC, and Newfoundland & Labrador). In those provinces, the colleges determine who can practice Massage Therapy.
NHPC will support members who choose to take part in the CEE, from initial inquiry to approval. This support includes providing online and in-person CEE preparatory workshops.
These changes are expected to resolve any issues that NHPC members are experiencing with Manulife and Alberta Blue Cross regarding their 2200-hour training requirement.
In order to answer any questions you may have on the CEE, NHPC has put the following processes in place: