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How to Use HSAs For Summer Expenses

Vicky Warren · August 1, 2019 · 3 min read

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Summer is here, and it’s time for some fun in the sun!

While having tons of summer adventures, you may have forgotten all about your HSA. Did you know you can use your HSA to pay for several summer essentials?

The IRS defines medical expenses as,“ the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body.” Though a broad definition, several products and services are HSA-eligible that you may need for your summertime pleasure. 

There are thousands of over-the-counter products you can purchase using your HSA, as well as some services, let’s explore a few options. You can also see the full list on Lively's "What's Eligible" page. 

Sunscreen

What is one of the first items on your summer packing list? I bet sunscreen is right at the top and you can use your HSA to pay for it! You may also want to keep those lips from burning to a crisp, and you can buy lip balm (as long as it is SPF 15+) with your HSA as well. 

First Aid Items

With the fun summer brings, someone usually gets a scratch along the way. Great news, use your HSA funds to buy first aid kits or items to create your own, like band-aids, medical tape, gauze, saline wash, and more.  

Prescription Sunglasses

You can use HSA funds to purchase prescription sunglasses to keep those peepers protected from harmful UV rays!

Allergy Testing

Though summer is beautiful with all the green leaves and pretty flowers, your sinuses may take a hit. You can use your HSA funds to test for allergies to pollen, ragweed, and other allergens.

Chiropractic Care

Have your outdoor adventures wreaked a bit of havoc on your back? You’ll probably feel better after an adjustment, and you can use your HSA funds to cover the cost! Or maybe you need a massage to ease those stressed muscles. As long as you get a letter of medical necessity from your doctor, you can use your HSA to melt the pain away.

Travel Essentials

Whether you travel by land, air or sea, there are hundreds of HSA eligible items you may use. From pillboxes to travel pillows, ear uncloggers to nausea relief bands, you’ll likely pack at least a few things you can buy with your HSA. 

In addition to the items you may need, what would happen if you’re out of the country on vacation and need medical care?

You can use your HSA to pay for medical care in a foreign country in a few ways:

  • Pay for prescription drugs that are legal in the U.S and the country you’re in (you must consume the medicine in that country). 

  • If you have transportation expenses that are primarily for, and essential to, receiving medical services, you can use your HSA.

  • Pay for lodging for someone traveling with the person receiving care (meals aren’t included). 

  • Refer to the IRS Publication 502 for more included items and services 

This list merely scratches the surface of how to use your HSA for summer expenses.

Many stores make it easy to identify HSA eligible items on their shelves, and there are here online options to use your HSA funds to purchase summer essentials. With a swipe of your HSA debit card or the click of a button, you’ll be riding off into the sunset prepared for your summer adventure!

Vicky Warren

Vicky Warren

Vicky Warren, once a nurse, now a freelance healthcare writer and social media coach.

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Disclaimer: the content presented in this article are for informational purposes only, and is not, and must not be considered tax, investment, legal, accounting or financial planning advice, nor a recommendation as to a specific course of action. Investors should consult all available information, including fund prospectuses, and consult with appropriate tax, investment, accounting, legal, and accounting professionals, as appropriate, before making any investment or utilizing any financial planning strategy.

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