Can You Use FSA/HSA for Massage Therapy?

Can You Use FSA/HSA for Massage Therapy?

If you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA), you may wonder whether it can help pay for your massage therapy. After all, both accounts help cover the costs of medical expenses — and if you struggle with musculoskeletal pain, autoimmune symptoms, or other health conditions, you might want to try massage to manage pain and feel better.

If you’re interested in medical massage tools like those from MedMassager, the good news is that you can use your HSA or FSA card to pay online by choosing Flex at checkout.

Have questions about massage eligibility or the steps you should take before making a purchase? Read on for everything you need to know about HSA/FSA and massage below.

What Is a Health Savings Account (HSA)?

A health savings account (HSA) lets you save pre-tax income to spend on qualified medical expenses. It goes hand-in-hand with HSA-eligible health insurance plans, called high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). With an HDHP, you’ll have a lower monthly premium, but higher deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs before your coverage kicks in.

The funds in your HSA won’t ever be taxed, so long as you use them for eligible medical costs like:

  • Copays and deductibles 
  • Prescriptions
  • Hearing aids
  • Long-term care services
  • Ambulance rides
  • Mental healthcare
  • Other necessary complementary treatments and tools

There are a few big benefits of having an HSA (aside from the fact that it isn’t taxed). For example, any money you don’t use will roll over into the next year. You can also keep your HSA regardless of who your employer is, and you may also be able to use it to cover costs for your spouse and dependents.

Is Massage Therapy HSA Eligible?

Massage is often used for relaxation, stress relief, and general well-being. But in some cases, massage — and massage tools — can help ease specific ailments, like sports injuries or chronic pain.

The good news is that when massage therapy is a qualified medical expense (meaning it’s been prescribed by your doctor), your HSA could cover its cost. However, it’s always important to consult with your account provider to ensure that massage is eligible, and to determine the exact steps you need to take to get it approved.

What Is a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

A flexible spending account (FSA) is a healthcare option that allows you to set aside money from your paycheck into an account that pays for specific medical expenses. Like an HSA, you don’t have to pay taxes on the money in this account.

Every FSA plan is a little different, depending on your specific benefits package and account administrator. Sometimes, your employer may contribute to your FSA, but this isn’t always the case.

Along with using your FSA to pay for things like deductibles and copays, you can use the money to pay for services like ambulance costs, dental care, eye exams, hospital services, and essentially any healthcare costs that aren’t directly covered by your insurance.

Is Massage Therapy FSA Eligible?

In many cases, yes. Your FSA can help cover the costs of medically prescribed complementary therapies, like acupuncture, massage tools, and massage services. For massage visits and home tools to be eligible, your doctor may need to prescribe massage for an ailment like back pain, arthritis, or another health condition.

What Are the Differences Between FSA and HSA?

While FSAs and HSAs both involve setting aside pre-tax income for qualified health expenses, there are several differences between these two accounts. A few of these include:

  • Differences in rollover funds. HSA funds roll over each year, while FSA funds typically have more limitations. 
  • HSAs are not tied to your employer — they’re tied to you. Conversely, your FSA is tied to your employer, and won't follow you to your next job. 
  • HSAs require that you have a qualified high-deductible health plan. On the other hand, FSAs are not confined to a specific type of health insurance.
  • Your FSA may allow you to “pre-spend” your funds based on your planned yearly contribution. With an HSA, you can only spend the money that's already in your account. However, you may still be able to reimburse yourself for certain expenses in the future.

How To Know if Massage Is FSA/HSA Eligible for You

To find out if massage will be HSA/FSA eligible for you, you’ll first need to speak with your HR rep and/or health insurance provider to see if it could be covered within your plan. 

Every insurance plan is different, and while most FSAs and HSAs do cover massage when prescribed, it’s always best to speak directly with your account administrator for the details.

Next Steps: Talk To Your Doctor About Massage & Home Tools

After speaking with your account provider, you’ll need to visit your doctor to determine whether massage therapy could be a medical necessity for you. (Note: Home massage tools can also be eligible, but they may or may not require a letter from your doctor.)

Your doctor might prescribe massage for broad pain like chronic back pain. But you might also benefit from using it for more specific conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or restless legs syndrome.

In any case, your best first step is to schedule an appointment for your health condition(s) and go into your doctor’s visit ready to talk about potential solutions. During your visit, you can ask whether massage could fit into your treatment plan, and how you could go about getting it covered by your FSA or HSA.

Getting Your Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN)

To get your massage costs approved for your HSA/FSA, you may need to get a letter of medical necessity (LMN) from your doctor. In a nutshell, this letter shows your HSA/FSA provider that massage will be used to prevent or alleviate a physical or mental health condition.

The LMN given by your doctor will need a few main components:

  • Reason massage is needed. Whether you’re dealing with an acute injury like tendonitis or chronic pain from an autoimmune condition, your LMN must include the reason for massage.
  • Duration of treatment, or how long you will need to be receiving massage therapy. Depending on your health condition, this might be anywhere from a few weeks to 12+ months.
  • Session frequency: Similar to a prescription for medication, your LMN will need to state how often and for how long you should receive massage. For example, it might state: “60 minutes of massage once per week.”

What Conditions Can Be Covered by FSA/HSA?

When it comes to massage and HSA/FSA, common conditions that might be covered include:

  • Tendonitis
  • Chronic or acute back pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Arthritis or joint pain
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Hypertension
  • Injuries from sports, work, car accidents, etc.

Can You Use an HSA/FSA for Electric Massagers?

Yes! Certain electric massagers can be paid for using your HSA/FSA. It’s important to check with your account provider about whether massagers are listed as eligible expenses in your plan type, and whether or not you need proof of medical necessity. You can also check with brands directly to see if they accept HSA/FSA.

If your doctor recommends a therapeutic home massager as part of your treatment plan, an LMN could also help you get your device approved as a necessary medical expense.

HSA/FSA Eligible Physician-Trusted Massage Tools

MedMassager has long been on a mission to bring soothing, restorative home massage to those who need it most. For this reason, MedMassager now accepts both HSA and FSA through the Flex payment method at checkout.

Our home tools use oscillating technology to bring deep relief to various muscle groups, and were designed with the input of physicians in mind. They’re also FDA-certified and trusted by health professionals to help soothe a variety of aches and pains. If you have a health condition, be sure to check with your doctor to see whether a MedMassager device could make a difference in your pain and quality of life.

MedMassager Body Massage Classic & Plus

The MedMassager Body Massager Classic and Plus models are both built with powerful oscillating technology and a user-friendly design to help soothe muscle tension throughout the body. 

These tools have wide, flat massage surfaces, making them easy to glide across achy muscles. You can also place the device behind your back on a chair or couch for a more hands-off massage.

Here are the general steps to using a MedMassager Body Massager:

  • Set your device to the lightest setting.
  • Apply it to your target muscle group for 60 seconds. (This will help prepare and warm up your muscles for deeper massage.)
  • Turn the pressure up to whatever level feels best for you. Then, allow the deep vibrations to relax and soothe your muscles for up to 15 minutes.
  • Use up to a few times per day as needed.

MedMassager Foot Massager Classic & Plus

The MedMassager Foot Massager Classic and Plus models have an oscillating massage surface and a targeted arch bar to help you alleviate pain and tension in the feet, ankles, and lower legs. By bringing the benefits of foot massage into your daily life, these tools can be a helpful complementary option for pains like plantar fasciitis and arthritis. 

Like the body massagers, it’s best to start the foot massager to a light setting, allow your muscles to adjust to the pressure, and increase the intensity slowly as needed.

FAQ on Massage and FSA/HSA Eligibility

Here are a few answers to some of the most common questions about using HSA/FSA to pay for massage:

Are There Any Restrictions on the Types of Massage Covered by HSA/FSA?

When you’re using massage for general well-being (and not a specific health problem), it may not be covered by your plan. Additionally, some types of non-therapeutic massage — like simple relaxation massage, cosmetic, or couples massage — will likely not be eligible for your FSA or HSA. When in doubt, it’s always best to check with your account administrator.

Most of the time, massages provided by qualified therapists are eligible as long as they’ve been deemed medically necessary by your doctor. Approved massage tools may also be covered, sometimes without the need for an LMN.

How Much Money Can FSA/HSA Save Me on Massage?

Because the money you use from your HSA/FSA is tax-free, it can save you an estimated 10-30% (or more) on massage tools and services and tools compared to paying out-of-pocket.

How Do You Use FSA/HSA To Pay for Massage?

Once you’ve verified your eligibility and have received an LMN from your doctor, paying with your FSA/HSA is fairly straightforward. When checking out at an appointment or buying a home massager, you can pay directly using your FSA/HSA debit card. For MedMassager, you can simply choose the “Flex” payment method at checkout.

If you don’t have a card with your FSA/HSA plan, many account types also allow for reimbursements. In these cases, you’ll need to provide proof of your purchase to get money back for what you spend.

The Takeaway

When your doctor recommends massage to help you prevent or alleviate a health condition, your HSA/FSA could help you cover the costs. Every plan is different, so it’s important to check with your account administrator to learn what expenses are eligible, and which ones may need a letter of medical necessity. You can also check the eligibility list through the HSA and FSA stores to learn more.

Some plans may list massage as an automatically eligible expense, while others may require more thorough documentation. Once you’ve taken the proper steps, you can bring the therapeutic benefits of massage to your home with the help of an HSA/FSA-approved massager.

Explore the MedMassager Foot and Body Massager lines today, or learn more about their many soothing uses here.

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