Can I Use My Health Savings Account for Massage and Acupuncture?

Many people defer their salaries into tax-free accounts such as HSA’s  (Health Savings Accounts) or FSAs (Flexible Spending Accounts).  These funds can be used during the year to pay for a large variety of medical expenses including deductibles and co-payments, transportation to essential health care providers, and can be used for other forms of treatments such as acupuncture and massage.

Is Your Therapeutic Massage/Acupuncture Treatment  Eligible for Coverage?

To be eligible for coverage, the IRS regulations state that medical care expenses must be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental ailment.  Therapy for medical treatment would include conditions such as back pain, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, and pain management, to name a few.

To be eligible to use your HSA for massage therapy or an acupuncture treatment, the first thing you need to do is to schedule an appointment with your doctor or chiropractor.   Let the physician know that you have been suffering with one of the above conditions, and you have an HSA and would like to use some of your HSA funds towards a therapeutic massage or acupuncture treatment for your condition.

In order for your prescription to qualify for IRS regulations, your physician will need to provide the following:

  1. Why do you need massage therapy?   (back pain,  anxiety, carpal tunnel syndrome,     )
  2. How frequent do you need to receive treatment? (Ex: 1x per month/12x per year)
  3. How long should you receive treatment? (Ex: 6 months/1 year)

After you have obtained your prescription, keep it with your tax documents should you ever be asked to verify the expenses.   The massage therapist/acupuncturist does not need to see the prescription, but may be helpful when giving you a detailed receipt for your records.  The therapist will give you the necessary paperwork for you to file for reimbursement from your HSA account.  Most HSA’s will refund you within a few weeks.

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