Did you know that it is possible to pay for massage with your HSA or FSA cards? That’s right! You totally can! But there are a few things to know about before you do to make sure you’re covering all your bases with the IRS. Here is the lowdown on everything you need to know about massage and HSA/FSA cards.
What is an HSA or FSA?
HSA’s (Health Savings Accounts) and FSA’s (Flexible Spending Accounts) are tax-advantaged accounts that allow you to set aside pre-tax funds from your paycheck towards medical expenses. They can be used for a wide variety of different things, most commonly co-pays, out of pocket medical expenses, medications, etc. But there is a whole long list of things that they can cover, including massage!
What is the difference between an HSA and an FSA?
The most noticeable difference between the two is that the funds in an FSA have to be used up by the end of the year, while the funds in an HSA roll over from year to year. HSA’s allow a lot more freedom as well, allowing you to invest the money into a 401K if you want or even just withdrawing it (although you have to pay the taxes on it if you do that). If you want to learn more details about the two types of accounts there is a fantastic article HERE.
How do I use my HSA or FSA to pay for massage?
Technically there is nothing stopping you from using your card anywhere you want, but if you spend the money on things that aren't approved the IRS might come after you. And that's pretty much the last thing any of us need! So follow these simple steps and you will be all set!
1. Set up an appointment with your doctor to request a prescription for massage.
You must have an actual medical reason to get massage. Meaning "general wellness" or "relaxation" are not coverable reasons. But there are a myriad of conditions that are covered and chances are you have one. A handful of examples would be stress, diabetes, anxiety, arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, back pain, neck pain, hip pain.... You get the idea.
2. Make sure the prescription includes the required details.
Your massage prescription should state the reason you need massage, how often you should get a massage and for how long. My personal prescription gives me 25 massages over the course of a year for chronic neck pain.
3. Keep your prescription filed with your tax records.
Your prescription is only necessary for showing the IRS that you used your card on approved items. Your massage therapist doesn't need a copy. Make sure you keep it somewhere safe for when tax time rolls around. Most likely you will never need it, but don't be that one person who does end up needing it and can't find it.
4. Book your appointment!
When booking your appointment you probably should check to make sure that your therapist is able to process HSA and FSA cards. They should be able to if they have their credit card processing set up properly as a massage business. But if they aren't sure how that works or they have any questions about the process, feel free to pass along my email address firstname.lastname@example.org and I am happy to pass along the knowledge I have.
Now go get that massage! And enjoy it even more now that it's not cash coming out of your pocket!
I hope this article has been able to provide all the information you need to make good use of your HSA or FSA card for massage. If you have any additional questions feel free to get in touch or post them in the comments below and I will respond.