Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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UPDATED: Mar 31, 2022

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The lowdown...

  • Your insurance provider will probably pay for a hot tub if you have a prescription from a specialist
  • The hot tub cannot be the sort of tub that people use for recreation; it has to be a specially constructed one-person medical hot tub.
  • If your insurer denies your claim, you can appeal or purchase the hot tub yourself and claim the tax deduction

The question of whether or not an insurer will pay for a hot tub seems self-evident. One does not usually think of hot tubs when they think of legitimate medical treatment. However, you may be surprised to learn that there are legitimate treatments involving hot tubs for poor circulation and joint pain.

These treatments are fairly new and are not commonly prescribed yet. Many insurance companies are not used to covering these hot tub treatments and may be reluctant to do so at first. However, most medical insurance companies will eventually reimburse you for a hot tub if you have a prescription from a doctor.

To learn more about getting your health insurance to pay for hot tub coverage, read on.

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What are the medical uses for hot tubs?

To understand why or why not an insurer will cover a hot tub as medical equipment, you must first understand what the legitimate uses for hot tubs are in modern medicine. As previously mentioned, hot tubs can be used to promote good circulation and reduce joint pain. The heat encourages the blood vessels to dilate, which improves circulation and can improve chronic pain.

The heat encourages the blood vessels to dilate, which improves circulation. The heat also allows the joints to expand slightly, which helps everything move more freely and thereby reduces pain. There are some other theoretical health-related uses for hot tubs, but none that are accepted in modern medicine.

Hot Tubs Can Be Used To Treat Poor Circulation And Joint Pain

There are many different types of hot tubs available today. Some are designed specifically as spa pools while others are meant to be used like traditional bathtubs. Hot tubs come in various sizes and shapes, including round, oval, square, rectangular, and even kidney-shaped ones. They range in price from $1,000 up to several thousand dollars depending upon their size and features.

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How do you get a prescription for a hot tub?

To get a prescription for a hot tub, you must first go to a specialist. It is theoretically possible to get a prescription for a hot tub from a general practitioner, but most GPs are not experts in the treatments involving hot tubs.

You may want to go to an internal medicine specialist if you have circulation problems or a rheumatologist for joint problems.

These doctors are much more likely to have experience treating conditions with hot tub therapy. If they believe that hot tub therapy is the right course of treatment for you, they’ll write you a prescription, just like they would for medicine. Then, you have to talk to your insurance and see if they’ll pay for it.

If you don’t know where to start looking for a doctor who specializes in this type of care, then look online. You should be able to find plenty of information regarding how to obtain a prescription for a hot tube by searching online.

Once you have found a doctor who has experience prescribing hot tubs, ask them questions about the benefits and risks involved in using one. Ask them if they recommend any specific brands of hot tubs.

What do you know if your health insurance will pay for a hot tub?

If your health insurance is willing to pay for a hot tub, make sure you know exactly what sort of hot tub they are willing to pay for. There are specialized one-person hot tubs made specifically for medical treatments. The more common large hot tubs are seldom approved by insurers.

Some people try to get their insurers to approve normal hot tubs which they only want for recreational, rather than medical reasons. This is insurance fraud, so you should make sure that you only ask your insurer to cover the hot tub you need for your treatment.

What can you do if your health insurance coverage won’t pay for a hot tub?

There is a fairly good chance that your insurance will not actually accept your claim for your hot tub. There are a couple of things that you can do in this situation.

First, contact the doctor that gave you the prescription for the tub and have them speak to your insurer. If this doesn’t work, go through your insurer’s appeals process.

Every major insurer has a process by which their policyholders can appeal denied insurance claims. You can find more info about this in your policy documents.

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What types of hot tubs may be covered?

As previously mentioned, there are one-person hot tubs made specifically for medical use. This is the only kind of hot tub that your insurer is likely to cover. To find one of these hot tubs, ask the doctor that originally prescribed the hot tub therapy.

If you need more info, you can find it online. The internet is probably your best bet as far as purchasing a specialized tub as not many brick and mortar stores stock them. This may change in the future when hot tub therapy becomes more common.

What types of hot tubs are unlikely to be covered?

Traditional multi-person hot tubs are unlikely to be covered. This is because they are not specifically constructed for medical use. Also, the insurer is only interested in covering the policyholder, and traditional hot tubs can accommodate several more people.

Some people have has success with partial reimbursement for a multi-person hot tub, but this is unlikely to work and is not recommended.

If you are in doubt about whether your insurer will cover a certain hot tub or not, make sure to ask them.

What are some similar treatments that are more likely to be covered?

Many other treatments for joint pain or poor circulation are more likely to be covered than hot tub therapy. If your insurer denies your claim, you may want to try one of these other treatments. Most of the other medically accepted treatments for these conditions involve medication.

If you need a prescription, visit the same doctor that gave you the prescription for a hot tub and explain the situation. You will likely not have to purchase the medication yourself and try to get your insurer to reimburse you. As medication is more traditional treatment, your doctor will deal with your insurer directly.

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Can you deduct the cost of a medical hot tub on your tax return?

If you cannot get your insurer to pay for a hot tub but you still want to try this form of treatment, you can simply purchase the hot tub yourself and deduct it from your tax return. This is not as convenient as getting reimbursed by your insurer, but it will help make the purchase more affordable in the long run.

Deducting medical expenses on your tax return can be tricky. It is always a good idea to hire a professional tax preparer to ensure that you are doing everything by the book. The tax preparer will charge you a nominal fee, but whatever they charge will be worth it in the end.

What is the bottom line?

In conclusion, your health insurance will probably pay for a hot tub if it is prescribed by a specialist. Otherwise, the chances of getting your health insurer to pay for a medical hot tub are slim. Even after your insurance agrees to help you pay for a medical hot tub, they may not reimburse you for the full amount.

It is vital that you contact them and double check that you are purchasing an approved model and that they will actually reimburse you for it. If you don’t get your hot tub claim approved, try appealing the decision or buy the hot tub yourself and claim a tax credit.