One of the best (and cheapest) ways to get an in-home medical massage is to use your FSA or HSA dollars to pay for it. Among its other benefits, massage can relieve your neck and lower back pain, reduce sciatica pain, battle insomnia, and help recover from an ACL injury. It’s a great way to ensure you use up all your FSA/HSA money by the end of the year.
What’s an FSA?
An FSA is a flexible savings account for health care spending. During the year, you’ll fund your FSA with pre-tax dollars from your paycheck, and your employer may contribute as well. FSA accounts are great for paying for anticipated health expenses not covered by standard insurance (a Lasik eye surgery, for example.)
Starting 2017, the IRS raised FSA limits to $2600, allowing a higher monthly contribution of about $217. That means allocating pre-tax money to your healthcare is most accessible than ever.
But there’s a catch. For most FSA accounts, you need to use the funds in your account by December 31 or you lose them. Some accounts will allow you to carry over a fraction of your funds until March 31 but check with your HR to make sure.
How to use your FSA for a massage?
FSA money can be used for a long list of health-related items, from eyeglasses and braces to massage.
Your primary physician can prescribe massage for various health conditions, including stress, arthritis, back pain, depression, carpal tunnel, diabetes, and sports-related injuries.
To use your FSA towards a Zeel massage, visit or call your primary physician and get an assessment of your physical condition. Let them know that you intend to use your FSA account to pay, for example, for a back pain massage service. If your doctor believes that massage would alleviate your condition, they will write you a prescription for massage. The prescription will include frequency and duration of the massage.
This clears you to use the FSA to help pay for your Zeel massages. Make sure to indicate your specific condition in the app when booking. After the massage, save the email receipt for reimbursement, and in case the IRS asks for backup.
How to use HSA for massages?
People with high deductible insurance plans may have HSA accounts or health savings accounts. HSA accounts can be used to pay for Zeel massage just like FSA accounts – you just don’t have a deadline (HSA funds roll over).
So, next time you’re in pain and reach for the painkillers, consider scheduling a doctor’s appointment. With the right massage prescription for your health condition, you’ll rediscover pain management.
Plan for 2019
If you haven’t already, start setting money aside in your FSA/HSA account. Not only will you reduce your overall healthcare spendings, but you could also book medical massage therapy for less. If your condition requires frequent massage sessions, consider using your FSA/HSA to pay for a monthly massage membership with Zeel. You can save 30-40% a year on out-of-pocket expenses. Learn more about our massage membership or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marcy is the SVP of People and Communications at Zeel. In addition to overseeing the humans of Zeel, Marcy has written about workplace topics for more than 20 years both at Zeel and as VP of Content for Vault.com, a career information web site and publisher.