Will Health Insurance Pay For a Hot Tub?

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by Sabrina S.
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Although most people wouldn’t consider the question whether hot-tubs are covered by insurance or not, it is still a good question to ask. Hot tub therapy can provide many benefits to its users and can be prescribed by a specialist. Those troubled by joint and muscle pain as well as poor circulation would stand to benefit from this kind of therapy. With a prescription for these and more ailments, insurance companies will probably cover the acquisition of a specialized, one-person medical hot tub. In the case that the claim is not directly approved, having a specialist talk to the insurance or appealing the claim may get the desired results. 

Hot-Tub Therapy

Hot-tub therapy is a timeless and ancient method to help people feel mentally and physically renewed. A therapy that dates back to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, to many this is a tried and true wellness treatment with full body benefits. Whether it be through the ancient way of using natural hot springs or the modern way of personal hot tubs, hot-tub therapy has been around for countless years. This therapy is great for relieving stress and relaxing muscles through warm water immersion. The later addition of water jets into the hot-tub experience helps deliver a light message to help relieve pressure in the muscles and ease sore spots. Along with relaxing the muscles, you can see an improvement in blood flow. Lastly, thanks to buoyancy in the water, pressure on the joints and inflammation can be reduced greatly. Hot-tub therapy provides many renewing full-body benefits while also helping mental health benefits through its relaxing qualities. 

Muscle Massage

Massage therapy has various forms, but it’s almost always beneficial to the mind and body. Massage helps the body’s nervous system kickstart a relaxation response and improve blood and lymph circulation. This, in turn, helps oxygen spread throughout the body. Jet massage can help relax muscle tissue, ease contractions and spasms, and help soothe sore spots. Overall, muscle massage proves to be essential in the venture for that renewed feeling.

Stress Relief

While floating through the blissful waters of a hot-tub, one can feel their stresses floating away. The moments spent in the tub provide a great escape from daily stresses and a moment of meditation to ease the mind. The hot water relaxes the muscles which in turn can trigger the release of endorphins and stress from the mind. 

Chronic Pain Eased

Hot tubs can help relieve chronic pain as the warm water can improve circulation. The warm water, in combination with jet massage, can free muscles from strain and knots. This kind of relief helps the body enter a calming state that allows for healing and recovery. As well, the release of physical tension will help improve overall range of motion.

How To Obtain Hot Tub Coverage

To receive coverage from a health insurance company for a hot tub, patients will need a prescription from a specialist for said therapy. Most often as long as a prescription from a doctor is presented, companies will reimburse the purchase of such medical equipment. Companies will usually be less accepting of a general practitioner’s prescription so it is best to see a specialist. An internal medicine specialist, for example, could prescribe a hot tub for circulation problems or a rheumatologist could prescribe it for joint pain. In addition to a prescription for spa hydrotherapy, all relevant medical documentation like x-rays, MRI’s, or any other tests which validate the doctor’s diagnosis must be present when filing the insurance claim. 

Did Your Health Insurance Reject Your Hot Tub Coverage Claim?

Even if your health insurance company rejects the coverage claim, there is still hope. There is always the possibility of changing providers or coverage. But if changing providers is too extreme, the company’s decision can be appealed. In the case that these don’t work out, there is a final option of paying out of pocket and filing for a deduction on one’s tax return. 

Insurance Appeal Process

If the insurance company denies one’s claim for coverage, an internal appeal can be made. An internal appeal will request that the company do a full and fair review of its decision. In this case, the company will be reviewing itself and gets to decide once more on whether it will pay the claim or not. If this doesn’t seem like the best route, an external appeal can be filed where the appeal can be taken to an independent third party for review. Many prefer this type of appeal because the power of the final decision no longer lies with the company, but instead it lies with the third party. 

Out-of-Pocket Costs

In the case that the appeal is denied, the last resort would be to buy the hot tub out of pocket and file a tax deduction claim. According to IRS Publication 502, in the case that the hot tub is being purchased primarily for pain relief or other medical reasons, a claim can be made as a capital expense. But just like with the insurance company’s claim, a doctor’s report, diagnosis, and prescription are essential for approval.  

What Happens If Approved – Purchasing a Hot Tub for Your Health

Once finally approved to purchase a hot tub, it’s important to do research on the different kinds of medically approved hot tubs. Getting informed on the kinds of tubs available and their benefits will help you find the best tubs for your needs. Tailoring your purchase to your needs will in turn produce the best results for you and your health. 

Now let’s take a look at all the different types of medically effective hot tubs available for purchase. 

Air Tubs

Air tubs are known for their thousands of tiny, relaxing bubbles that wrap the body in an almost champagne-like fizz. This category of tubs provide touch receptors with great stimulation that helps mildly release tension. To take it to another level, users can incorporate bath oils to add a touch of aromatherapy for even more relaxation.

Whirlpool Tubs

If strong, deep tissue massage is what you’re looking for, then the whirlpool style tub is for you. This kind of hot tub moves water at an increased pressure using strategically located air jets. These air jets are adjustable so they can be customized to each individual’s body and needs for optimized muscle relaxation.  

Total Massage

This category is what most people imagine when thinking of hot tubs. These tubs blend the technology behind air tubs and whirlpool tubs to create an ideal mix of fizzy bubbles and pressurized water. Through this kind of mix, users can enjoy the soft, calming benefits of the tiny bubbles while also benefiting from the strong, targeted massage of the air jets.


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