We often get asked that question and the answer is yes and no. If you’ve already used up your deductible and want your insurance company to cover the cost of a massage chair, the answer is almost always no. As World’s Best Massage Chairs wrote this, massage chairs do not have an insurance or DME medical code and cannot be covered by insurance. but, the question is; Can you use your FSA or HSA (Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account) to cover some or all of the costs?
for some of you, the answer is yes! why only some? because in order to get compensation from your insurance company to pay for your massage chair, in all likelihood, you will need to meet two conditions:
Reading: How to get insurance to pay for a massage chair
- have a chronic back problem and perhaps a history of claims to treat your condition
- You have an HSA (Health Savings Account) or an FSA (Flexible Spending Account).
- artificial teeth
- birth control pills
- contact lenses
- doctor visits
- some dental expenses
- eye care (glasses, contact lenses, lasik surgery)
- artificial teeth
- birth control pills
- Capital expenditures
Do you think you could qualify? If you’ve had chronic back pain, we’ll leave that for other blog posts to explore this condition; It is certainly one of the reasons why people buy a massage chair. But for this article, let’s take a look at the HSA and FSA to better understand how they work and why they may qualify you to purchase a massage chair.
can you use your hsa to buy a massage chair?
An HSA is a self-contained health insurance plan, while an FSA is typically offered as an additional component of a traditional health care plan. Having said that, they are both, as the name implies: savings accounts that you can deposit pre-tax earnings into as part of your health coverage through a provider such as Allstate, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), united healthcare and many others, or in the case of an fsa, a plan available through your employer. These accounts allow flexibility in spending that money, as long as the expense is related to medical needs.
For the HSA, either the policyholder (you) or your employer can make deposits into the account. Of course, the IRS can’t help itself when it sniffs out taxpayers’ income, so they impose contribution limits given the tax haven nature of these plans. for 2015, the limit was $3,350 for singles, $6,650 for married couples, plus an additional $1,000 if you’re over 55.
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Since the funds in an HSA roll over each year and those funds are always owned by you as the policyholder, it’s easy to see how you can accumulate enough to pay for the cost of a massage chair. And this equates to good savings – for the policyholder who saves up to 30% on the massage chair (due to the tax benefit), as well as the insurance company who enjoys the relatively low cost of massage therapy in an armchair that continues to massage. year after year.
If you have an HSA for your health coverage, all you need to do is contact your insurance company to ask if a massage chair is eligible.
so what are the chances i can use hsa funds to pay for a massage chair? in our experience, quite well, as we’ve recently had people do that.
If you look at only a partial list of expenses explicitly approved by the irs, it looks promising:
Massage therapy and massage chairs are not on the list of explicitly approved expenses, but they are also not on the list of specifically excluded expenses. Once you’re sure everything is clear, you’ll use the debit card issued with your HSA to purchase your massage chair.
can an fsa be used to buy a massage chair?
The fsa or flexible spending account option can actually be a bit more, well, flexible when it comes to buying a massage chair. It has the same tax advantages as the HSA. It can be set up within many insurance policies available through employees as part of the “cafeteria plan” provision of IRS Code Section 125. the name is derived from when these plans began to be used when referring to items available in the company cafeteria. even so, today this code also refers to flexible spending for medical purposes.
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basically, if you have an fsa available, you can use it for various medical expenses and often dependent care or other expenses. As mentioned, this dough (sorry, can’t resist the cafeteria reference) is not subject to payroll taxes, resulting in substantial payroll tax savings.
and just like the hsa, some of the money in your fsa rolls over at the end of the year. the key word here is “some”. Previously, fsa funds were not rolled over, but due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, you can carry over up to $500 to the next year without losing funds.
so to buy a massage chair with your fsa funds, you’ll first want to clear it with your “cafeteria” plan provider to make sure they’ll approve the expense. As with the HSA, there are no clear guidelines as to whether a massage chair will be rated.
However, if you look at the list of approved expenses opens in a new window, you will find:
what about the list of expenses specifically excluded for fsa funds? neither massage, nor massage therapy, nor massage chairs are on that list. so if you need massage treatments for a medical reason, the chances seem good that you will be approved. If you are in fact approved, you may have to fill out a paper form, or you will be authorized to use your FSA debit card, also known as a flex card, to purchase your massage chair.
so if you’re looking for a massage chair, you may be able to purchase a massage chair using your hsa or fsa.
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