Can I use my HSA?
You've put a portion of your hard-earned income into a flexible savings account (FSA), health savings account (HSA), or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) to save money- tax-free-funds - toward medical expenses. It's important to make the most of the funds you have already allocated-especially in the case of FSAs, which give the funds back to your employer if the dollars aren't used by the end of the calendar year. Now is the time to make the most of your remaining FSA dollars.
Is My Massage Eligible?
Massage Therapy & Yoga can be eligible as a medical expense - as long as a physician recommends it with a written prescription. The IRS ruling states that medical care expenses must be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental ailment. Examples of illnesses that qualify include carpal tunnel syndrome, stress, back pain, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression and pain management.
What to Do
If you suffer from one of the fore-mentioned conditions (and who isn't stressed?), all you need to do to set up massage or yoga as a qualifying expense is pay a visit to your medical practitioner. Let him or her know that you have an FSA or HSA and you'd like to use some of your funds toward massage or yoga for treatment or prevention of your condition. Your physician will need to provide three pieces of information on the prescription:
Medical necessity: why you need massage therapy (example: to relieve back pain)
Frequency: number of sessions per month (example: minimum of two sessions per month)
Duration: length of treatment (example: 12 months)
Once you've obtained the prescription, file it away in case you are ever asked to back up the expense. It's not necessary to bring the prescription to Studio Mantra, but you should bring your FlexCard (if you have one) to pay for your next visit. If you don't have a FlexCard, simply pay for your massages or yoga and turn in your receipts for reimbursement.
Note:You cannot include tips or pay for your entire membership upfront with HSA or FSA funds.
Planning for Next Year
During the fourth quarter is when many people designate how much money to set aside in their FSA for the next year. In your financial planning, don't forget to include the cost of your Studio Mantra visits in the total amount. You also can set aside money for massage therapy for a spouse, if he or she has a qualifying medical condition. You could be saving a good deal of money each month in taxes, and that's enough to relax anyone!