It’s not uncommon for a person with a chronic condition to file a claim with their insurance provider in the hope of having the provider cover the cost of a massage chair, but is this type of medical device covered by an insurance provider or will you be forced to pay out of pocket?
Depending on the insurance company, and the state you live in, it’s totally possible that a massage chair will be covered by your insurance. But not every health insurance provider is flexible and ultimately, it will depend on your coverage plan and the provider itself.
Will VA pay for massage chair?
The answer to this question is also unclear and highly dependent on the state you reside in, your condition, and your doctor. In some cases, the chair may be covered if your doctor has deemed the chair medically necessary for either mental or physical health. Let’s delve a little deeper and learn how you can get your private insurance or VA insurance to cover the cost of a new massage chair.
In most cases, if massage therapy is deemed necessary, the VA will only cover the cost of traditional massage therapy services. In terms of traditional health insurance providers covering the cost of a massage chair, the chances are also low, although it is possible.
If you have a health savings account or a flex account offered by your insurance provider, these plans will allow you to deposit funds that can go towards the purchase of medical devices and services, although, some plans will not approve the purchase of a massage chair.
As you can see, the possibility of both the VA and private insurance providers covering the cost of a massage chair is low. However, there are some savings account programs offered by traditional insurance providers that allow you to slowly save up for the best massage chairs designed to meet your needs. Read on to learn more about these flexible savings accounts and what types of services the VA does offer.
Health Insurance Coverage for Medically Necessary Devices
Whether or not a health insurance company will cover the cost of a massage chair can vary from insurance to insurance and will depend on why you need the chair, feedback from your physician, and the type of medical devices your health insurance company normally covers. Some insurance companies commonly cover the cost of a lift chair, but unfortunately, it’s rare for an insurance company to cover the cost of a massage chair.
So, how can you get your insurance company to pay for the massage chair of your choice?
In most cases, insurance companies that will consider covering the cost for this type of claim will require the applicant to have some type of chronic back issue. A history of claims can also help your case.
Another way you can get the cost covered is if you have a health savings account or a flex spending account.
Using Your Health Savings Account to Purchase a Massage Chair
A health savings account is a type of health insurance plan all its own. A flex spending account is usually offered as added coverage to a traditional insurance plan. Both options are essentially savings accounts that you can deposit any pre-tax earnings as part of your healthcare coverage from your provider. Many major healthcare providers offer this option, including:
These savings accounts are pretty flexible in terms of how you spend the money, as long as the expense is related to your physical or mental health.
With a health savings account, both your employer and you can make deposits. Unfortunately, the IRS enforces contribution limits.
Currently, the contribution limit is:
- $6,600 for married couples
- $3,500 for a single person
- An extra $1000 for people who are over the age of fifty-five
All of the funds in a health savings account will roll over at the start of the year. As the policyholder, these funds are considered your property. Over time, with regular contributions, it’s easy to see how you can save up for a new massage chair. Due to the tax benefit, the policyholder can also save up to thirty percent on the massage chair. It’s also beneficial to the health insurance provider as well since they won’t have to pay for regular massage therapy since you’ll have the chair to rely on for frequent treatment.
If you have a health savings account and you want to purchase a massage chair, then all you need to do is contact the insurance company to determine if a massage chair qualifies as a necessary piece of medical equipment, based on your medical history.
How Likely is an Insurance Provider to Cover the Cost of a Massage Chair with an HSA?
With a health savings account, most insurance providers will approve the purchase. On average, more insurance providers that offer HSA funds will also approve the following:
- Contact lenses
- Vision care
- Hearing aids
Massage chairs and massage therapy services aren’t currently on the list of approved expenses, however, both are also not on the list of unapproved expenses. Once you get the okay from your insurance provider, you can use the debit card they have issued to make your purchase.
Flex Spending Account Purchases
This option is considered more flexible than the health insurance savings account, especially when it comes to purchasing massage chairs. It also offers the same type of tax advantages and is offered by many of the leading health insurance providers.
If an FSA is an option, it can be used to pay for a wide variety of medical expenses. It’s also not subject to payroll taxes. Just like a health savings account, some of the money in your flexible spending account will roll over at the end of the year. In the past, no funds from this type of account rolled over. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, policyholders will get to carry over approximately five hundred dollars into the next year, all without losing funds.
In order to purchase a massage chair with this type of account, it must first be approved by the insurance provider. Unfortunately, there are no clear guidelines in terms of whether or not a massage chair will be covered.
The list of medical items and services that are excluded under this type of coverage do not list massage chairs or massage therapy services. Because of this, there is a great chance that you will get your request approved. The process is very quick, simply requiring you to fill out a form before you can use your FSA debit card to purchase your new chair.
How Can I Get My Health Insurance to Pay for Massage Therapy?
If your insurance provider doesn’t offer FSA or HSA programs, then you may have to pay for the cost of a massage chair out of pocket.
If you’re searching for a new insurance provider and want a more flexible plan, during this time it’s important to shop around and take a close look at their coverage plans and the types of medical treatments, therapies, services, and medical devices they cover, in addition to what percentage of coverage they offer.
What your health insurance will and will not cover should be clearly stated in their patient service’s guide. However, if your insurance provider can potentially cover this service, you must be prepared to show them proof that it’s medically necessary. This usually involves a history of a disability, records that have shown you are currently undergoing care, and documentation provided by your physician.
Before you sign up with an insurance provider, if this is a service you want to be covered, speak with a representative in order to determine what steps you need to take to get this type of treatment approved.
Massage Chair Coverage for Veterans
Recent studies have shown us that massage therapy can be an excellent treatment alternative to veterans who suffer from PTSD and chronic pain. A person with PTSD is able to relax during a massage, which can also help to improve sleep patterns, circulation, elevate mood, and reduce stress and anxiety.
In terms of will the VA cover the cost of a massage chair for veterans, this can vary from state to state and case by case. As it stands, in some states, approved medical services for veterans include medical devices that are deemed medically necessary and reasonable.
In order to qualify, the veteran must be currently under the care of the physical and seeking all appropriate treatment based on their current health status, whether the need for the massage chair is physical or will be used to improve mental health. In cases in which the need for the chair is mental health related, the veteran must currently be participating in professional counseling and other related mental health services such as group therapy sessions.
Medication use may also be a requirement. While the VA typically approves such medical devices as prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, and lift chairs, unfortunately, in many cases, a massage chair will not be approved.
What Type of Massage Will Work to Relieve Chronic Back Pain?
I recommend the Kahuna Massage Chair Space-Saving Zero-Gravity Full-Body massage chair. Not only does this massage chair offer a total body massage, but it also features the zero gravity position. The zero gravity feature will put the user in a position that reduces any pressure on the discs and nerves in the back, which can provide immediate pain relief.
How Can I Afford a Massage Chair?
Leading massage chairs can come with a steep price tag that can make them unaffordable to people on a fixed income. Fortunately, many massage chair retailers offer low or no interest financing programs that will allow you to make monthly payments in order to own the massage chair you normally wouldn’t be able to afford if you had to pay upfront. To learn more, click here to read my article on how to get a massage chair with no interest financing.
Will the VA Pay for a Lift Chair?
Yes. However, in order for the VA to cover the cost of a lift chair, the applicant will need to provide proof of necessity. This usually involves documentation from the applicant’s physical therapist and primary care physician stating that a lift chair is medically necessary in order to improve the applicant’s quality of life. They will also need to provide proof that they are currently undergoing treatment for their disability.
Does VA Pay for Massage Therapy?
Yes and no. Massage therapy can be used to treat veterans suffering from a physical disability or PTSD. However, the VA will not pay for treatment in every case. In order to qualify, the applicant will need to provide documentation from their treating physicians and provide proof of ongoing treatment. In most cases, this type of treatment will be approved.
So, will VA pay for massage chair? In most cases, no. The VA will cover the cost of other types of medical devices such as a wheelchair or lift chair, but in most states, they will not cover the cost of a massage chair. However, if deemed necessary they will pay for massage therapy.
In cases in which the cost of a massage chair is approved for mental health or disability related to service, the veteran must currently be in treatment in order to qualify. In terms of regular health insurance providers, most companies will also not cover the cost of a massage chair.
However, if you have a health savings account or a flex spending account, you can deposit money that will go towards a new massage chair. Keep in mind that not all FSA and HSA providers will approve the purchase of a massage chair.