Receiving therapeutic massages has increased over the last decade. According to the 19th annual consumer survey sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association, 85% of individuals surveyed claim their primary reason for receiving a massage in the previous 12 months was medical (52%) or stress (23%) related.
Once, many consumers believed massages were a luxury. Now people are recognizing the benefits of massage in relieving pain and reducing stress. Massage therapists are rapidly becoming part of a client’s everyday health care team.
What is a Health Savings Account?
Mayo Clinic defines a health savings account (HSA) as a something like a personal savings accounts, but the money in them is used to pay for health care expenses. One big difference is that you have control and own your HSA, not your employer or insurance company.
The money you deposit into the account is not taxed. You must have a special type of health insurance called a high-deductible plan to qualify for and HSA.
What is a Health Flexible Spending Account?
You can participate in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to pay for copayments, deductibles, some drugs, and some other health care costs if you have a health plan through a job. Some accounts can be used for therapeutic massage.
Employers may make contributions to your FSA, but aren’t required to. You don’t pay taxes on this money. This means you’ll save an amount equal to the taxes you would have paid on the money you set aside.
You may lose any money left over in your FSA at the end of the year or grace period. So it's important to plan wisely and not put more money in your FSA than you think you'll spend within a year on things like copayments, coinsurance, drugs, and other allowed health care costs. Check what you have paid on qualifying items this year to help you plan for 2017.
How Can You Get Your Massages Covered?
- Ask your human resources department if massage is covered. Some accounts can be used for therapeutic massage.
- Make sure you get information about the process for reimbursement. Most companies use FSA debit cards. Also make sure your massage therapist is set up to accept HSA or FSA cards at their office.
- Open enrollment season for work-based insurances usually happen in October and November. This is a perfect time to plan for your massage needs in the upcoming year.
Health savings and flexible spending accounts may offer a way to spend pre-tax money for therapeutic massage. The benefit of therapeutic massages can help you relieve pain and stress. Check your account coverage and see how you can get quality massages and save money too.
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