A Comprehensive Guide to Using an HSA for Therapy 

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on April 7, 2023
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If you’re struggling with a mental health issue, then you know just how important it is to find the right care with help of mental health practitioner deems.

And while online therapy can be expensive, there is a way to make it more affordable.

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are tax-advantaged accounts that allow you to save money on healthcare costs without having to pay taxes. But can you use an HSA for therapy? Let’s break it down. 

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What is an HSA? 

An HSA is a type of savings account that you can use to accumulate money for medical expenses and other qualified costs.

The money in your HSA grows tax-free and can be used for a variety of out-of-pocket costs such as prescription drugs, dental visits, eye exams, and more.

Your employer may even offer contributions or matching funds which will increase your savings even further! 

Benefits of Using an HSA for Therapy 

Using an HSA for therapy has several benefits.

First and foremost, HSAs are tax-advantaged accounts which means that whatever money you put into your account goes into it pre-tax and any withdrawals from the account are tax-free as long as they’re used for qualified medical expenses.

This can help make therapy more affordable by reducing your overall taxable income and saving you money on taxes come tax time! Additionally, HSAs have no “use it or lose it” policy like some other types of accounts do so any unused funds stay in the account until the next year when they become available again.

This allows you to save up more over time which can help make therapy more accessible when needed! 

How To Start Saving For An HSA 

If you’re interested in setting up an HSA but don’t know where to start, there are a few simple steps that will get you well on your way.

  1. The first step is to check if your employer offers any kind of contribution or matching funds program – this will help increase the amount of money in your account without having to contribute extra yourself.
  2. Next, decide how much money you want to contribute each month based on what works best with your budget – remember that any contributions made pre-tax so will reduce your taxable income come tax time!
  3. Finally, open up an account with a bank or financial institution that offers HSAs – many banks now offer online applications so this shouldn’t take too long! 

Once all these steps have been taken, simply start contributing each month and watch as the balance increases over time – this will give you peace of mind knowing that when the need arises, there’s always something in place to help cover those costs! 

What mental health costs qualify for FSA and HSA reimbursement?

According to the IRS1, you may use your FSA or HSA to pay for the following mental health services:

  • Acupuncture
  • Behavioral health modification
  • Counseling for mental health
  • Psychotherapy
  • Medical care
  • Medication prescribed by a psychiatrist or other qualified healthcare professional
  • If you need to travel for mental health services, lodging
  • Some over-the-counter (OTC) products, such as pain relievers, are available without a prescription
  • Teletherapy
  • Therapy for substance abuse
  • Transportation to mental health visits

The IRS has a comprehensive list of deductible expenses.

To verify what is covered by your FSA or HSA, you may find it simpler to contact your plan’s benefits administrator, either online or over the phone. Generally, therapy for medical or mental health reasons is covered by FSAs and HSAs. However, a service such as marriage counseling is typically not eligible.

Can You Use HSA For Therapy?

The answer to the question “Can You Use HSA For Therapy?” is yes, you can use your HSA funds for in-person or online therapy with a mental health practitioner that’s considered medically necessary.

According to the IRS, mental health therapy and treatment that is deemed ‘medically necessary’ is eligible for reimbursement with an FSA or an HSA. This includes talk therapy and psychiatric care.

You can also use your HSA funds to cover the cost of your therapy appointments, counseling sessions, and any other medical expenses related to mental and behavioral health assessments. Additionally, many mental health treatments and services, like Talkspace or Brightside, are eligible for payment with an FSA or HSA.

It’s important to note that not all treatments are eligible for reimbursement from an FSA or HSA account. Before using your account funds for a mental health service, check with your healthcare provider to make sure it’s covered by your plan.

How To Use Your Health Savings Account For Mental Health

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can be an important financial tool for those with mental health issues.

HSAs are tax-advantaged accounts that allow you to set aside money for medical expenses, including those related to mental health. The funds in your HSA can be used to pay for medication, therapy, counseling, and other treatments related to your mental health condition.

To use your HSA funds for mental health care, the treatment must be considered “medically necessary” by the IRS.

This includes behavioral counseling, psychotherapy visits, psychiatric appointments, couples and family counseling, and some forms of online therapy. It is important to note that if you withdraw money from your HSA for mental health resources or any non-qualified medical expenses, you will owe taxes and a 20% penalty on the withdrawal.

If you have an HSA and are struggling with mental health issues, it is worth exploring how you can use it to help offset the cost of treatment.

You Can Use HSA Funds Towards Psychiatric Care

It is possible to use HSA funds for psychiatric care.

  • Psychiatric care is considered a qualified medical expense, so you can pay directly with an HSA.
  • In addition to sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist, HSA funds may be used to pay for alternative forms of therapy that have proven to be effective at managing mental health symptoms.
  • You can also use your FSA or HSA to cover the cost of mental health treatments and services, including some forms of online therapy.

It’s important to note that if you withdraw money from your HSA for non-qualified, medical, or mental purpose expenses, you will owe taxes and a 20% penalty on the withdrawal.

Prescriptions For Mental Health Are Covered By HSA, Too

Yes, prescriptions for mental health are covered by HSA (Health Savings Account).

An HSA is a tax-advantaged account that can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses. This includes some mental health care expenses such as therapy, psychiatric care, and medication. You can use your HSA funds to pay for these services, which can help make them more affordable.

It’s important to note that not all mental health services are eligible for reimbursement with an HSA. For example, you may not be able to use your HSA funds to cover the cost of certain over-the-counter medications or sleep aids.

Always Save Your HSA Receipts

It is important to always save your HSA receipts for any purchases you make.

This includes HSA purchase receipts, HSA account statements, employer contributions, and documents that explain services or products purchased. You may not be asked to provide a receipt for an HSA expense, but it is still important to save them for your records.

Keeping itemized receipts can help prove that the expenses were qualified medical expenses when filing taxes.

Additionally, saving images of your HSA receipts can make filing taxes easier. It is recommended that you keep all of your records as long as you maintain the account.

Can You Use Your HSA Account For Massage Therapy?

Yes, you can use your HSA account for massage therapy. Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) are two types of accounts that can be used to cover the costs of massage therapy.

In some cases, a Letter of Medical Necessity from your doctor may be required.

Massage therapy is eligible for reimbursement through most FSAs and HSAs, as long as it is recommended by a physician for medical treatment or prevention.

You can also use an HSA card or Flex account to pay for your appointments if the massage therapist is listed as “medical massage”. However, it’s important to check with your insurance carrier or HR representative at work to make sure that your plan covers massage therapy with a doctor’s prescription.

What Can An HSA Not Be Used For?

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are a great way to save money on medical expenses.

However, there are certain things that an HSA cannot be used for.

According to the IRS, HSAs cannot be used for vacations or vitamins. Other ineligible items include maternity clothes, funeral costs, and child care for non-medical reasons.

If you use your HSA for something other than eligible medical care or expenses, you may be subject to significant IRS penalties. It’s important to know what qualifies as an eligible expense before using your HSA funds. Eligible expenses include health care services, treatments, and items that the IRS states can be paid for without taxes.

It’s also important to note that while you can use your HSA funds for non-medical expenses, they will no longer qualify as tax-free if you do so. Withdrawals from HSAs are only tax-free if they’re used for allowable medical expenses such as doctor visits or prescriptions.

Overall, HSAs are a great way to save money on medical expenses but it’s important to understand what is and isn’t eligible before using them. Knowing these rules can help ensure that you don’t face any unexpected penalties from the IRS.

Can I Use My HSA For Therapy Sessions?

The answer to the question “Can I Use My HSA For Therapy Sessions?” is “It depends”.

According to the IRS, you can use your HSA funds for in-person or online therapy which is considered a medical expense. This includes therapy appointments and medications related to mental health conditions.

However, some forms of therapy may not be eligible for coverage under an HSA.

Examples include marriage counseling or couples therapy. It’s important to check with your insurance provider to find out what types of expenses are covered by your plan.

Can I Use HSA For Talkspace?

Yes, you can use your HSA or Health Savings Account to cover your Talkspace plans.

Talkspace allows insurance coverage of its therapy services, and many employers, U.S. health plans, and Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) offer coverage for Talkspace. You can also pay out of pocket for your sessions, submit a superbill to your insurance, or use FSA or HRA funds to pay for Talkspace therapy.

It’s important to note that if you’re using an HSA or FSA account, there may be a few steps to take before your therapy sessions will be covered by these funds. Be sure to check with the provider of your HSA or FSA account for more information on eligibility and requirements for pre-tax funds.

Can I Use My FSA To Pay For Online Therapy?

Yes, you can use your FSA or HSA to pay for mental health treatments and services, including some forms of online therapy.

The IRS considers therapy to be a qualified medical expense, which means it can be reimbursed through your FSA or HSA account.

Many online therapy platforms accept payment from these accounts, so always check with your account manager to confirm.

Additionally, medication prescribed by a psychiatrist or general practitioner to manage mental health is also eligible for reimbursement.

Can HSA Be Used For Marriage Counseling?

Unfortunately, health insurance typically does not cover couples or marriage counseling.

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can be used to pay for mental health care, such as therapy appointments, but services like marriage counseling are generally not considered qualified medical expenses and therefore cannot be covered by an HSA.

However, if a letter of medical necessity is provided for talk therapy or behavioral counseling related to a serious mental illness or health diagnosis, then it may qualify as a qualified medical expense and be reimbursed from an HSA.

It is important to note that the rules around what qualifies as a qualified medical expense varies from plan to plan and state to state. Therefore, it is best to check with your insurance provider before using an HSA to pay for any type of primary care physician or mental health care.

Can You Use HSA For Group Therapy?

Yes, you can use a Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for group therapy. According to the IRS, mental and behavioral health, therapy, and treatment that is deemed ‘medically necessary’ is eligible for reimbursement with an HSA.

This includes behavioral counseling, psychotherapy visits, couples and family counseling, group therapy, prescription and over-the-counter medications related to mental health care, as well as virtual appointments.

Can I Use HSA For Gym Membership?

Unfortunately, the answer to the question “Can I Use HSA For Gym Membership?” is no, generally speaking.

According to HSA Store2, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are designed to help cover medical expenses and are not typically used for gym memberships. The IRS has declared health club dues ineligible as a medical expense, so it is not possible to use an HSA for this purpose.

However, if your doctor or nurse gives you an exercise regimen to carry out, the costs of the gym membership may be eligible depending on the circumstances.

Can You Use HSA for Therapy Conclusion: 

HSAs are great tools if used correctly; they provide much-needed relief from high healthcare costs such as therapies needed for depression, and other emotional and mental health issues.

By understanding what an HSA is and how it works, we can better prepare ourselves for those times when extra help is needed financially speaking.

Finally, please know our team has covered similar therapy questions. For example, you may learn about therapy for anger, paying via HSA, your 1st therapy session, finding the right therapist, insurance coverage, women’s issues, ISDTP therapy, and how to talk about your feelings.

We’d love to hear from you too! Tell us what mental health software to review next on Online Mental Health Reviews. If you have stories about using a particular product or know of a discount code, please share so everyone may benefit!

Best Value-Per-Dollar
BetterHelp | Online Therapy for Stressed Professionals
$60-$90 / Week

Overall, BetterHelp conveniently provides busy professionals with various live therapy options to make it the best online therapy in terms of value per dollar.

Try 10% Off Our Review

Sources

  1. Publication 502 (2022), Medical and Dental Expenses | Internal Revenue Service. (n.d.). Publication 502 (2022), Medical and Dental Expenses | Internal Revenue Service. https://www.irs.gov/publications/p502
  2. Health Club Dues and Fees. (n.d.). HSA Store. https://hsastore.com/hsa-eligibility-list/h/health-club-dues-and-fees

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