Medical Massage Reimbursement

Just in time for income tax preparation in case you don’t qualify to receive a tax deductible credit via federal income tax filing? Consider one or more of the following health related spending accounts to lower the cost of medically related massage treatment.

The 3 Most Common Health Account Types are
  1. Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)
  2. Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  3. Health Spending Account (HSA)

Health Reimbursement Arrangement – HRA accounts are established and controlled by the employer to reimburse qualified medical expenses (QME) for the employee only. Only the employer contributes to this account. Other restrictions may apply.

Flexible Spending Account – FSA accounts are the most commonly known type of healthcare spending account. You may hear it referred to as a cafeteria plan because of its many options that allow you to customize the plan a bit. FSAs are created to reimburse qualified medical expenses, health insurance premiums for premium-only accounts, as well as dependent care expenses.

Health Savings Account (HSA) - HSA accounts are accounts created to pay for qualified medical expenses of the account holder, his/her spouse and/or dependents. Any individual may open an HSA. There are other unique provisions that must be adhered to. The major difference with this type of account is that the money belongs to YOU! 

When recommended by a health care professional for a medical condition, the cost of massage therapy may be a qualified medical expense. You may be asked by your insurer to provide proof of medical necessity (e.g., prescription, doctor’s note) with the request for reimbursement. 

I've found that the best way to phrase the question of massage reimbursement is: "Under what circumstances do you reimburse for massage therapy?". If you merely ask "Do you pay for massage therapy?", the answer is far more likely to be "No".

When the cost of massage therapy is for “general health”, it is not a qualified medical expense.

In all cases be proactive by getting a prescription from your doctor and keep a record of all of your receipts and always check with your tax adviser.



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