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Maximizing Your Healthcare Dollars: How to Use Your FSA or HSA for Massage Therapy

If you currently have either a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), the good news is that massage therapy is often eligible for reimbursement through these accounts. However, there are some important details to keep in mind. In this blog post, we'll explore the ins and outs of using your HSA or FSA account to pay for massage therapy and offer some tips for making the most of these benefits.

Piggy bank with jar of money beside it

What Are HSA And FSA Accounts?

Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Arrangements/Accounts (FSA) are tax-advantaged accounts that allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for qualified medical expenses. These accounts can be used to cover a wide range of health care expenses, from doctor visits and prescription medications to certain medical equipment and supplies (IRS, 2022).

More About An HSA

To be eligible for an HSA, you must be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). The funds in your HSA can be used tax-free to pay for eligible expenses, including deductibles, copayments, and prescriptions. In addition, the funds in your HSA can be invested and grow tax-free (IRS, 2022).

What About An FSA?

An FSA is also a type of savings account that allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for qualified medical expenses. Unlike an HSA, there is no specific health plan requirement to participate in an FSA. The funds in your FSA can be used tax-free to pay for eligible expenses, including deductibles, copayments, and prescriptions. However, unlike an HSA, any unused funds in your FSA at the end of the plan year or the grace period may be forfeited.

Is Massage Therapy Covered by HSA or FSA Accounts?

The short answer is yes, usually.

Massage therapy is often eligible for reimbursement through HSA and FSA accounts. However, there are some important criteria that must be met in order for massage therapy to qualify.

According to the IRS, massage therapy must be considered a "medical care expense" in order to be eligible for reimbursement. This means that a licensed healthcare professional must prescribe massage therapy as a treatment for a particular medical condition, such as chronic pain, muscle tension, or an injured group of muscles, and the therapy must be given by a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT).

It's also important to note that not all massage therapy services may be eligible for reimbursement. For example, services that are solely for relaxation or stress relief may not be considered eligible medical expenses. However, massage therapy that is prescribed for a specific medical condition, such as chronic pain or injury recovery, may be eligible for reimbursement.

Tips For Using Your HSA or FSA Account For Massage Therapy

There are 5 important steps to take in order for your HSA or FSA to cover massage therapy:

Man and woman consulting with a doctor

Step 1

Consult with your healthcare provider: Before scheduling a massage, consult with your healthcare provider to determine if massage therapy is an appropriate treatment for your specific medical condition. If your healthcare provider recommends massage, you may need a Prescription or Medical Necessity Form.

At Proactive, we provide clients with a Prescription/Medical Necessity Form that they can readily submit to their healthcare provider in order to obtain a prescription for massage therapy. This form states that massage therapy is medically necessary. This will typically satisfy the requirements for reimbursement of the treatment.

This form includes billing codes, Proactive's National Provider Identifier (NPI) number, and a detailed description of the type of therapy, as well as a space for the healthcare provider to prescribe the type of treatment and the recommended duration of treatment. Remember to keep a copy of the completed form for your records.

Step 2

Check Eligibility: Check with your HSA or FSA administrator to verify that massage therapy is an eligible expense under your plan. While the IRS considers massage therapy an eligible medical expense, your plan may have specific rules or limitations on what type of massage therapy is covered.

A clipboard with a verified check mark

Step 3

Find a provider that accepts HSA or FSA as payment:

Not all clinics accept this type of payment for services. Generally, in order for a provider or store to accept HSA or FSA as payment, they need to have a merchant account that is set up to process these types of payments. This may involve working with a payment processor that specializes in HSA/FSA payments or simply updating their existing payment processing system to accept these types of payments.

According to our own experience with accepting FSA and HSA debit cards, a provider or store may need to take the following steps to accept a HSA or FSA as payment:

  1. Contact their payment processor to make sure they are set up to accept HSA and FSA payments.

  2. Update their payment processing system to accept HSA and FSA cards.

  3. Display signage indicating that HSA and FSA payments are accepted.

  4. Provide customers with detailed receipts that include the required information for HSA and FSA reimbursement.

It's worth noting that specific requirements may vary depending on the type of HSA or FSA account and the payment processor being used. We had one credit processor that automatically authorized medical clinics to accept FSA and HSA debit cards. With a different processor, we were required to submit paperwork and documentation to be approved and authorized to accept this form of payment. So, it may be helpful for the provider or store to consult with their payment processor to ensure they are fully compliant with all requirements.

A woman looking at a receipt

Step 4

Get Detailed Receipts: Keep detailed records of all massage therapy appointments. This will make it easier to submit a claim for reimbursement and provide documentation in the event of an audit. If requested, we provide our clients with a receipt for medical massage therapy that includes the five items required on all reimbursement receipts. This includes:

  1. Policy-holder/Client’s Name: The title of the person who paid for the goods or received the service.

  2. Company and Service Provider’s Name: Name the company that offered the service or sold the goods, as well as the provider who provided the service.

  3. Service Date: The day on which the goods or services were delivered or bought.

  4. Type of Service or Product: Include a comprehensive description of the service provided or the product acquired.

  5. Cost: List the total price paid for the goods or services.

A keyboard with a blue button label "submit"

Step 5

Submit Your Claim: Make sure to understand the deadlines for submitting claims and using funds from your HSA or FSA account. Unused funds may be forfeited at the end of the plan year or grace period, so it's important to use your benefits before they expire.

With a prescription and our medical massage therapy receipt, patients can easily access the benefits of this therapeutic treatment while ensuring that their expenses are properly documented for reimbursement.

Make the Most of Your Benefits

A note pad that says To Do: Get a massage thanks to my HSA and FSA

Massage therapy can be a valuable tool for improving your health and well-being, and it's good to know that it's often eligible for reimbursement through HSA and FSA accounts. By understanding the criteria for eligibility and following some simple tips, you can make the most of your HSA or FSA benefits and enjoy the benefits of regular massage therapy.

At Proactive Massage + Bodywork, we offer a range of products and services that may be eligible for reimbursement through your HSA or FSA account. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve optimal health and well-being.

Woman laying on massage table


IRS. (2022). Publication 969: Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans

VantagePoint Benefit. (n.d.). Eligible Expenses: Claims & Reimbursement. Retrieved May 5, 2023, from


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