Physical and Occupational Therapy Benefits

Physical therapy is the treatment of disease or injury using therapeutic exercises and other interventions that focus on areas such as range of motion; improving posture, strength, endurance, balance, coordination, joint mobility, flexibility; and alleviating pain. These are integrated to help a patient regain functional activities of daily living.

Physical therapy is an important part of the recovery process for many injuries, illnesses, and surgeries. HMSA covers short-term physical and occupational therapy services under the supervision of a licensed therapist. Short-term therapy usually lasts no longer than three months.

Home exercise program

To be covered as a benefit, your therapy must include a home exercise/education program initiated at the first physical or occupational therapy visit. The therapist must document your participation in and compliance with the home exercise/education program.One of the goals of your therapy benefit is to transition you from one-to-one supervision by the therapist to a home exercise program performed on your own or with the assistance of a family member or caregiver. Through a home exercise program, you continue your recovery over time at your own pace.

Maintenance activities

It’s important to keep up maintenance activities after therapy sessions have ended. Maintenance begins when the therapeutic goals of your treatment plan have been achieved or when no additional functional progress is apparent. Maintenance program activities to keep you at the level of function achieved through short-term therapy and to prevent regression tend to be long-term. For this reason, they aren’t covered.


Your physical or occupational therapy treatment may require precertification. If you choose to continue therapy beyond the number of visits precertified for coverage, the cost of those visits is your responsibility. We encourage you to read further about the precertification requirement for physical and occupational therapy services in the Physical and Occupational Therapy FAQs. This doesn’t apply to plans that don’t include rehabilitation therapy benefits.