Spending the funds in your HSA for massage therapy is possible. To be considered a qualified medical expense, the IRS regulations state that medical care expenses MUST be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental ailment. In IRS Publication 502 “Therapy” is included as defined for therapy received as medical treatment. Examples of illnesses that could qualify include carpal tunnel syndrome, stress, back pain, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression and pain management.

The first thing you must do is schedule an appointment with your doctor. If you have been suffering from any of the above conditions, including stress, let him or her know that you are participating in a HSA and that you’d like to use some of your funds toward massage for treatment or prevention of your condition.

In order for you prescription to qualify for IRS regulations, your physician will need to provide the following:

  1. Why do you need massage therapy? (Example: to relieve back pain, reduce stress/anxiety, prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.)
  2. How frequent do you need treatment? (Example: 2 sessions per month)
  3. How long should you receive treatment? (Example: 6 months, a year)

After you’ve obtained your prescription, keep it with your tax documents should you ever be asked to verify the expense.