Increasing in popularity and utility, Flex Benefit Plans or Flexible Spending Accounts & Health Savings Accounts (FSA’s, HSA’s) are funds of pre-tax dollars created by you and your employer. There can be quite a range of features of these plans, with a little research into your individual plan you’ll find they may pay for items you didn’t think they would – like massage, even your chair massage @ work (if your chair massage provider gives you a receipt stating the purpose of your massage was to treat the condition your Doctor wrote a Rx for massage for as a treatment).
HSAs roll over and accrue year to year, and can even earn interest. FSA’s tend to not roll over, providing a certain amount that must be spent during the year (If you don’t use it you lose it). HSA’s cover Qualified Medical Expenses (See Below for more info) While FSA’s may allow discretionary spending on certain categories such as Health Club memberships, Professional Development Classes, etc.. For ease and convenience, many plans have their own Debit Card to pay for covered expenses.
*Here’s the key to getting massage paid for by most HSAs or FSAs:
1.Don’t neglect minor aches and pains when talking to your Doc! Let them know massage helps you.
-Whether we don’t want to be complainers, or we tolerate our aches and pains, or managed them ourselves with over-the-counter medications or massage, our Doctor most likely won’t think to write a Rx for massage unless we’ve told them what we feel or that massage helps us with our pain.
HAVE YOUR DOCTOR FILL OUT THIS REFERRAL LETTER, (Or they may use their own letterhead or Rx pad.)
-Check with your individual plan as to what kinds of Doctors they accept referrals from in your State. MD, DO, ND, or DC? IS THERE ANOTHER favorite method you use to relieve a chronic pain? (i.e. Acupuncture, Yoga, etc.) Tell your Doctor about the help you experience for your problems from these treatments and ask if they’ll write a Rx or referral for these treatments. You’ll often be surprised by their excitement to participate in your care in a way other than writing a Drug Rx!
Below is a typical “Massage Clause” from a HSA, plus a definition of Qualified Expense. Click on them to open the websites they came from for more info.