Massage therapy can be an eligble expense covered under your flexible spending account (FSA). Learn more.
At TREE of LIFE Massage, we have the ability to process FSA payments for your massage. Here is how it it works- Usually during the fourth quarter of the year your employer conducts open enrollment, during which you plan how much money you will need to set aside for the following year's medical expenses. When the new year starts, your designated funds are withdrawn from each paycheck in small increments and placed into a special account.
An HSA works much in the same manner but is tied to a High Deductible Healthcare Plan (HDHP). With an HSA, unused funds roll over to the next year and accumulate. Because these plans are funded with pretax dollars, you and your employer can save hundreds of dollars in federal, FICA and state taxes.
Is My Massage Eligible?
Massage therapy can be a qualified as a medical expense. As long as a physician recommends it with a written prescription, the IRS ruling states that medical care expenses must be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental ailment. Examples of illnesses that qualify include carpal tunnel syndrome, stress, back pain, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression and pain management. Interestingly... Pregnancy is a medical condition that can alleviated by massage therapy.
If you suffer from one of the above conditions (and who isn't stressed?), all you need to do to set up massage as a qualifying expense is pay a visit to your medical practitioner. Let him or her know that you have an FSA or HSA and you'd like to use some of your funds toward massage for treatment or prevention of your condition.
Your physician will need to provide three pieces of information on the prescription:
1. Medical necessity: why you need massage therapy (example: to relieve back pain)
2. Frequency: number of sessions per month (example: minimum of two sessions per month)
3. Duration: length of treatment (example: 12 months)
Once you've obtained the prescription, file it away in case you are ever asked to back up the expense. It's not necessary to bring the prescription to your massage, but you should bring your FlexCard (if you have one) to pay for your next visit. If you don't have a FlexCard, simply pay for our massages and turn in your receipts for reimbursement.
If you need help explaining your situation to your doctor, contact us and we can write a letter to your doctor explaining the benefits of massage therapy to your specific condition.
If massage is an ongoing medical necessity for you, plan ahead at the end of the year and make sure your massage is covered with your FSA account!