Using your FSA or HSA for At Home Wellness
10 min read •
30 sec brief
HSAs and FSAs are often used for ancillary health needs, such as glasses and dentistry, but did you know you can use these accounts for day-to-day health needs as well? We discuss what household items you can stock up on with your HSA or FSA here.
The U.S. health system typically treats sickness, with the responsibility of maintaining wellness resting on the individual. While your health insurance isn’t likely to pay for that yoga retreat, you can use your FSA and HSA to pay for other wellness products like acupressure pads, allergy medication, and other items that will help keep you out of the doctor’s office.
What You Can Buy With Your FSA or HSA
Every household should have these basic wellness items. Due to the CARES act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, you can now use your FSA and HSA money to pay for over-the-counter medications without a prescription.
- First aid kits (HSA or FSA)
- Ibuprofen (HSA or FSA)
- Tylenol (HSA or FSA)
- Thermometer (HSA or FSA)
- Band-aids (HSA or FSA)
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Sunscreen (HSA or FSA)
The CARES act also added menstrual care to the list of qualified medical expenses for which you can use your FSA and HSA contributions. These items include:
If you have a little one at home, you’ll be pleased to know that some of the supplies you’re stocking up on are eligible for reimbursement through your FSA or HSA, including:
- Infant and Kids’ Tylenol (HSA or FSA)
- Infant and Kids’ Motrin (HSA or FSA)
- Gripe water
- Gas drops (HSA or FSA)
- Pedialyte (HSA or FSA)
- Diaper rash ointment (HSA or FSA)
- Eczema treatment
- Potty training underwear and pullups
Can’t get in to see your acupuncturist, massage therapist, chiropractor or get a pedicure? Don’t worry, you can use your FSA and HSA money on home treatments like these to tie you over:
- Cooling eye masks (HSA or FSA)
- Acupressure mats and pillows (HSA or FSA)
- Massage guns
- Home pedicure kits: heated bubbling foot spas; foot massagers; foot buffers, scrubs and creams, nail files and clippers; and cuticle trimmers.
- Heated blankets (FSA)
- Neck pillows (HSA or FSA)
You can also use HSA and FSA money to buy supports for minor injuries like:
- Ankle, knee, back and wrist braces (HSA or FSA)
- Crutches (HSA or FSA)
- Cold packs (HSA or FSA)
- Compression socks (HSA or FSA)
Irritated by allergies? These at-home treatments are considered qualified medical expenses:
Reimbursement for some of these products requires a Letter of Medical Necessity from your healthcare provider. They must be used to treat, diagnose, mitigate, or cure a medical condition or disease to be eligible for HSA or FSA purchases. You can also search for eligible items.
How You Can Purchase FSA/HSA Eligible Items
You can use your FSA and HSA contributions to pay for home wellness just as you would use them to pay for more traditional medical expenses. That means, if your HSA or FSA administrator offers you direct access to your funds via a debit card, you can use it to pay for these expenses at the point-of-sale. If your administrator requires you to pay for the expenses first, then submit documentation for reimbursement, you’ll have to follow that process.
Just be sure whatever you buy is considered a qualified medical expense. Otherwise, you will not only get stuck with the bill, but there’s also a chance you’ll have to pay an additional penalty on top of it.
Maintaining wellness at home is one of the best ways to stay out of the doctor’s office. Luckily, you can use your FSA and HSA money to do it. If you have any questions about specific treatments or products, reach out to your FSA or HSA administrator to ensure they’re considered a qualified medical expense.
About the author
Lauren Hargrave is a writer from San Francisco who focuses on technology, finance and wellness. She follows comedians like most people follow bands and believes an outdoor sweat session can cure almost any bad mood. She’s also been writing her first novel for so long, her mom doesn’t ask about it anymore.
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