Massage Therapy: FSA Eligibility
Massage therapy refers to a manual manipulation of the body's soft tissues to treat a specific medical condition, injury or to enhance an individual's overall health and well-being, and is often considered a complementary and alternative form of medicine (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health). While there are a variety of massage disciplines and techniques, the most common types are via WebMD:
- Trigger Point - This technique emphasizes the therapy of "target points," tight areas within muscles that can cause pain in other parts of the body. These groupings of muscle fibers are typically formed from injury or overuse.
- Deep Massage - By utilizing slower, forceful strokes to target an affected area, deep massage penetrates lower muscle layers to provide therapy to muscles and connective tissue to treat damage associated with injuries.
- Swedish Massage - This is the most common form of massage therapy categorized by its softer, longer strokes and tapping strokes on the topmost layer of muscles to relieve tension.
- Sports Massage - Similar to Swedish massage, sports massage specializes in treatment of sports-related injuries, as well as providing a complement to traditional rehabilitation practices.
What is the process of massage therapy FSA reimbursement?
Massage therapy generally falls under the classification of "general health," which refers to a service or procedure that can provide a boost to a person's overall health and wellness but is not considered a vital treatment to alleviate a specific medical condition. However, if a medical professional deems massage therapy as necessary for the treatment of a chronic illness, will aid the recuperation process from a significant injury, account holders will have to obtain a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN).
If an account holder has a medical condition that will require massage therapy to be included in a treatment plan, a physician must produce a Letter of Medical Necessity containing a specific diagnosis about how massage therapy will be used to alleviate the issue. Additionally, the physician must outline how long the treatment will last and another LMN must be submitted if the treatment exceeds the current plan year.