14 Jul Using HSA or FSA funds to Pay for Massage Therapy
Therapeutic massage has many proven health benefits, including improving circulation and reducing blood pressure, decreasing inflammation and pain, and reducing stress and tension.
Examples of conditions helped by massage therapy include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, stress, hypertension, back pain, sciatica, piriformis syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, diabetes, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, and pain management.
You have likely experienced these restorative and pain-relieving benefits for yourself, and have wondered how you might be able to incorporate regular massage therapy into your budget. One way to make regular massages more accessible is by using Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) funds to pay for your sessions.
What is an HSA or an FSA?
These accounts are often offered by employers to help employees pay for qualifying healthcare related expenses that they may incur over the year, such as deductibles, prescriptions, and co-pays. They allow employees to designate a portion of their income to be set aside as pre-tax dollars, which can save a lot of money. Sometimes employers also contribute to this account as part of a benefits package. There are a few key differences between HSA and FSA accounts, but for the purposes of using the funds for massage therapy, they work the same.
How can I use HSA/FSA for massage?
You may have to jump through a couple of hoops to be sure you meet the guidelines for what is considered a qualified expense for these accounts.
If you have a condition that you think may be helped by massage therapy, contact your Primary Care Physician and let them know you are participating in an HSA and that you’d like to use some of your funds toward massage for treatment. Most doctors are supportive of massage therapy as a tool for healthcare, especially if it allows the patient to avoid costlier or more invasive treatments such as surgery, or more side-effect heavy options like prescription medication. If your doctor determines massage therapy is appropriate for you, you’ll need to get a prescription that contains the following information, per IRS rules:
Your prescription will need to include the following:
- A reason you need massage therapy, such as a medical condition or injury
- The number of sessions you’ll need (Weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly?)
- How long should sessions last? (60 or 90 minutes?)
- How long are you going to need this treatment? (6 months? 1 year?)
Be sure and keep your prescription in a safe place with your tax records in case you are ever asked to verify the expense. You don’t necessarily need to bring it in for your massage therapist, but it can be helpful (we’ll return the original copy to you).
That’s it! Go ahead and book your massage. Once you’ve got it set up, it’s a pretty seamless process from there, and with the addition of regular massage therapy to your healthcare routine, you’re sure to see the benefits compound.
A few key tips
- Double down on your pre-tax savings – your dollars go even further when you spend them with us! For every 10 massages you purchase, get your 11th free as part of our Loyalty Club
- If you anticipate using your HSA/FSA for massage therapy, be sure and consider how often you’ll be doing so when allocating funds during your open enrollment period
- You cannot use HSA/FSA funds for gratuities
- You can also use funds to pay for a qualifying spouse or dependent
- If you have any questions about the process or your specific account, be sure and contact your HR representative
- We are often asked if Float Therapy is a covered qualifying expense. The short answer is most of the time, though it depends on the specific rules of your HSA/FSA.