Everybody WANTS to have a massage every day but whether they can AFFORD one is a totally different story.
That’s why massage chairs are so fantastic: you pay for the chair once, and then you can have as many massages as you want on a daily basis throughout its life.
In this way, massage chairs are unbelievable money-savers. However, you can save even more money on them if you get insurance to pay for your massage chair.
This guide explains how to get insurance to pay for a massage chair with simple steps and easy-to-follow tips.
Does Insurance Actually Pay for Massage Chairs?
The answer to this question isn’t totally straightforward. Depending on your particular insurance and plan it could be an absolute “yes” or “no.”
For starters, if you’ve used all of your deductible, it’s unlikely that your insurance will pay for a massage chair.
HOWEVER, before you just suck it up and pay for the whole thing yourself, there is good news.
If you have a Flexible Spending Account or a Health Savings Account it’s very likely insurance will be able to cover some of your massage chair’s cost.
What is a Health Savings Account?
A Health Savings account or HSA is an individual medical account that you can deposit pre-tax earnings into to use as part of your health coverage via an insurance company. These accounts allow for greater flexibility in regard to what health purposes you can use your funds for.
Both policyholders and employers can make deposits into HSA accounts. These accounts, because they do act as “tax havens” have limits on them that are typically around a few thousand dollars a person.
Funds roll over each year in your HSA account, allowing you to accumulate quite a bit of money, which could be used on a massage chair. By using these funds to buy a massage chair, policyholders save up to 30% because of the tax benefit on the account.
What is a Flexible Spending Account?
Flexible Spending Accounts give you a bit more leeway with what you can spend your savings on making them a better option for purchasing massage chairs. Because they are more flexible, they allow you to spend your funds on more, opening up the door for somewhat unconventional purchases like massage chairs.
Flexible Savings Accounts also have the same tax advantages as HSA’s but can be set up with many insurance policies. The money in your Flexible Savings Account is not subject to payroll taxes, allowing you to gain a substantial amount of tax savings.
However, unlike the HSA’s only SOME of the money in your account is rolled over at the end of the year. You can now, because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, carry up to $500 into the next year without losing any of those funds.
Steps for Getting Insurance to Pay for a Massage Chair
Check Out Your Insurance Policy
The first step in seeing if your insurance will pay for a massage chair is checking out your insurance policy. If your policy has a clause on medical-massage then you might be able to get them to pay for it.
Having an HSA or an FSA means you will probably be able to use your funds to purchase a massage chair, but you’ll still want to reach out to your provider to make sure you can.
However, some insurance companies do not cover massage-even if your doctor prescribes it. If your insurance does not pay for massage it is unlikely they will pay for your massage chair.
Identify Your Ailment
For insurance to pay for a massage chair it has to be treating some kind of illness or disorder in your body. They will not pay for one just because you think it will be a cool addition to your house.
To identify if massage is a recognized treatment for your illness, do some research. You may want to find case studies to bring to your doctor on how massage could help you.
It’s most common for massage chairs to be paid for by insurance if people have chronic back problems. If that’s the case for you than you are an excellent candidate for a therapeutic massage chair.
Meet With Your Doctor
Bring all of your researched information to your doctor to evaluate with them. At your appointment, cover all the symptoms you have and treatment options.
Most doctors will typically not recommend massage therapy until they have tried some other less holistic therapy methods, however, if you believe that it would really help you, try to explain that to them.
If your doctor agrees that massage can help your particular ailment, then get them to prescribe massage therapy to you.
Financial Benefits of Purchasing a Massage Chair
Massage Chairs Can Help You Meet Your Deductible
Some health insurance plans allow you to apply the cost of a therapeutic chair against your deductible if you have a doctor’s prescription for that chair. The chair must also be considered DME by your insurance company for your plan.
To determine whether you can actually do this, do some research, and chat with your benefits administrator. You can also chat with your medical provider.
You Could Take a Tax Deduction for Your Massage Chair
In some cases, you can actually take a tax deduction if your physician prescribed a therapeutic massage chair to you for your ailment. If you find out that your massage chair purchase would qualify you for a tax deduction then you could significantly reduce your income tax liability.
While it can be difficult to get insurance to pay for a massage chair it is possible with certain plans. Not every insurance company provides funding for massage chairs so before pursuing any of these steps be sure to clarify with them whether they do or not. If you have an HSA or FSA and chronic back pain, it’s likely you’ll be able to get your insurance to pay for one.