Massage guns are a thing now, with their extreme ability to relax your muscles and remove soreness after workouts and other strains. But as you look at the price of one, you may ask a question: are massage guns FSA eligible? If so, purchasing one makes more sense. This is what I have found about their FSA (and HSA) eligibility, as well as about how to make it reasonable. But first, let’s see what a massage gun is and whether it is such a necessity.
- 0.1 Massage Gun & FSA Guide
- 0.2 What is FSA?
- 0.3 Can you use FSA for massage devices?
- 0.4 How to buy massage guns using FSA Eligibility?
- 1 FSA Eligibility FAQ
- 2 The Weapon of Massage Relaxation
Massage Gun & FSA Guide
In short, massage guns may be FSA eligible. All you need is a conclusion from your doctor, which is not so hard to obtain. But there are some details about how it works. If the doctor finds your thigh or back massager FSA eligible, you can purchase it with your FSA account. Now, a bit more on it.
What is FSA?
FSA, or Flexible Spending Account, is meant to avoid taxing your spending necessary for health. The money you put there can be used for health purposes: medicines, personal medical devices, health services, and so on. If you create an FSA account, though, you will be only able to spend money from it on relevant purchases.
There is also a similar account named HAS (Health Savings Account), which works similarly in terms of tax-exempts. The main difference is that you cannot save the money on your FSA account, while on HAS, the money you haven’t spent during the year just remains there. On the other hand, it requires an HDHP while FSA doesn’t. From now on, we will talk about FSA, meaning both of these plans, like the way you can use these accounts is similar.
Can you use FSA for massage devices?
Indeed, a massage device is a medical one. So it can be purchased under the FSA program. But, unlike many other medical devices, this is also a recreational one: you know, many people treat massage as a sort of relaxing activity and non-obligatory self-care. In addition, a massage gun is not the cheapest among personal massage devices. What you need is a prescription from your doctor. With it, not only can you use FSA for massage gun purchases but also explain why you need this type of device (if necessary).
What is the process of massage therapy FSA reimbursement?
First of all, you need proof that you need this massage for your health. In most situations, a Letter of Medical Necessity from your primary care physicians will do, as in general, massage is recognized as therapy. Usually, this letter should address two matters:
- Whether this sort of massage is necessary. When it comes to massage guns, they are mostly used to help relax your muscles. While usually, this is not much of an issue, sometimes it is – if you suffer from circulation problems, muscle issues, or pain and stiffness. The trick is that pain and stiffness are normal after a hard workout or a physical job. If you practice any of these, this can be the reason why using them is crucial for your health.
- The reason why buying your own massage gun makes more sense than massage therapy with a professional. This may be unnecessary but still better to have.
The model of the device also matters. They need to be certified to be buyable with FSA. As you see, the question is not “are massage guns FSA eligible,” but rather “Is the massage gun I want FSA eligible?” let’s proceed to it.
How to buy massage guns using FSA Eligibility?
There are two ways to do it. First, you get a prescription and buy the device whenever you want. The thing is, you need an FSA massage gun that has been approved by the IRS. This means meeting certain criteria that not every massage gun does. The second way is to search for it in stores that specialize in selling FSA-approved items only. The prices of these items there, though, may be a bit elevated. The difference may be well above $100, which matters, given the average price of the device.
So it may make more sense to get your prescription and purchase the FSA massage gun elsewhere. But as you plan to do so, again, you better contact your FSA plan provider and make sure that they consider this massage gun FSA eligible. Because not all massage guns are created equal. And even technically some two devices are on par, the manufacturer of one may just have not bothered about getting certified properly. Or the certification process may be still in progress.
Store managers can also update you about the FSA status of the items they sell. Given the specifics of massage guns, this question is probably among the most frequent ones they are asked. Just ask straight: What massage gun is FSA approved? It’s their responsibility to offer you the right model. Then you may need to consult your physician to make sure this is the model of your prescription. And only then can you proceed with buying it.
Last but not least: though it’s a trendy toy, it only does you good when you really need one. Having your muscles relaxed after a workout is more than just pleasure: it keeps you from being broken down the next few days, especially if you haven’t made it your routine yet. Don’t let it collect dust next to your dumbbells and your bench; use all of it!
FSA Eligibility FAQ
I told you to ask your FSA provider or store managers the questions you may want to ask. But some of them are so frequent that I’d rather address them here.
Are shoulder massagers FSA eligible?
Yes, if prescribed. Just like any other massage device. But you may need to search for an approved model. For further information, you better contact your FSA plan provider.
Does insurance cover massage guns?
Yes, it may if this type of massage is prescribed. While the conditions it is recommended for are rather vague, this may also apply to those into hard physical activity. But still, your physician needs to corroborate your need for it, and then the insurance provider will still have the final say.
What documentation is needed for FSA reimbursement?
The first thing you need is a prescription from your primary care physician. It should include your name, the name of the device, the date, and the amount paid if necessary. The second is the receipt that includes information like the name of the merchant, the date of purchase, the amount paid, and the description of the item.
Do I have to deduct my FSA expenses on my federal income tax return?
No, it’s done automatically within the FSA policy. On the contrary, you cannot specify these purchases as tax-deductible on your return because this qualifies as tax fraud. Your FSA account is already pre-tax and non-taxable.
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The Weapon of Massage Relaxation
As you see, you indeed can buy a massage gun with your FSA. It will require some paperwork, a visit to your physician, and maybe some conversation with the store manager. This can save you a good buck, though, especially if you choose a rather expensive model. The critical is to use it right after buying, so your health benefits from it even more.
Have you already been enjoying your own massage gun, or maybe you had an experience with it? Did it help your muscles to do away with soreness and find the right relaxation? If you haven’t got your own, would you like to have one? And have there been any troubles in your life with your FSA? Let’s share our experience and wishes in the comments!