Remedial Massage Associations in Australia
If you are a student of Remedial Massage or have recently graduated, you may be wondering if you should join a massage association. If so, this article is for you.
Why Should I Join a Massage Association?
The truth is, the main reason you will need to join an association is that the private health funds such as Medibank, BUPA and HBF require you to be a member of a professional association in order to be registered with them.
What Does This Mean?
It means that if you want to offer private health fund rebates to your customers - you will have to be a member of an association.
Is it Important that I Offer Private Health Fund Rebates to My Customers? Well, it’s probably not a bad idea. Although a lot of people are dropping their private health cover because it’s costing them too much and no longer making financial sense there are still a lot of people that are covered for remedial massage. Also, people that have private health cover are more likely to be able to afford more regular massages.
What Else Do I Get?
Considering you may be paying up to $400 a year for your membership, you may be wondering what else you get for that money.
The main benefits that are spruiked by the remedial massage associations are:
- Discounted Insurance - Because the fund has so many members, it can negotiate a good discount for your insurance.
- Directory Listing - The association may have a remedial massage directory on their website, and they will usually offer you a free listing as part of your membership.
- Continuing Professional Education - Associations usually have a self-reported continuing education point system and will offer many diverse training opportunities in your capital city throughout the year.
- Annual Conference - Most associations have a large, annual event where they bring in guest speakers and get educators, practitioners and industry together under the one roof at the same time. These are not free and can cost hundreds of dollars, but the association will usually give you CPE points for attending and… you might even enjoy it.
That’s about it... Some people think it’s a rip off but hey, if you want to offer private health fund rebates, it’s your only choice these days. Some funds may allow you to register with them manually, but it can be a lot to juggle with so many private health funds out there.
What Do I Need to Have to Join a Massage Association?
- A Diploma of Remedial Massage
- Current Insurance (Public & Products Liability and Malpractice)
- Current First Aid Certification
- Pay Your Annual Fees
Which Massage Association is Best?
Well, that's the million dollar question, isn't it?
The place you are studying will probably have some kind of affiliation to a specific massage association. When I studied at TAFE in Western Australia, the college was certainly ‘guiding’ us to join AAMT (The Australian Association of Massage Therapists) which has now been renamed Massage & Myotherapy Australia however the chances are that the educators are supposed to be impartial to which association you should join so it would be best to do your own research. You can find a list of the largest associations at the bottom of this page with an indication of their joining fees.
How Do I Join a Massage Association?
The application process is usually fairly straight-forward. You will fill out some forms online, upload all the required documents and pay your membership fees. There will then be a review process and, if successful, you will be notified that you are a member and that your details have been sent to all the major private health funds.
How Long Does It Take Until I Can Process Health Fund Rebates?
Each private health fund has their own schedule for when they add new providers to their systems so it can take up to a month for the association to register you with all of the health funds, that's why it's best to apply as soon as you can if you need to offer rebates.
What are the Main Massage Associations in Australia?
|Logo||Name||Joining Fee||Annual Fee||Total Upfront Cost|
|Association of Massage Therapists (AMT)||$80||$205||$285|
|Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA)||$0||$185||$185|
|Massage Association of Australia (MAA)||$0||$370||$370|
|Massage & Myotherapy Association (MMA)||$110||$245||$355|
* Details current at time of publication. Fees often change so check with the association directly before applying.