Did you know you can use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) for some certain nutritional expenses?
Qualified medical expenses for these tax-advantaged accounts include “the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body.” Simply put, the eligible nutritional item has to relieve or prevent a physical or mental defect or illness. Eligible expenses must have a specific medical purpose, so food you eat to maintain normal health doesn’t count.
Qualified Nutrition Expense
Dehydration not only makes you feel bad, it can prevent you from digesting food and nutrients properly. When young children don’t get enough nutrients, that deficiency may be harmful to their growth. Items that help rehydrate with electrolytes are eligible expenses for FSA/HSA reimbursement.
Digestive aids can help people suffering from indigestion, heartburn, lactose intolerance, constipation, diarrhea, and related ailments. For these challenges, relief treatments like antacids, laxatives, and anti-diarrhea medicines are eligible expenses under your FSA or HSA.
“Nutritional supplements” is a broad term for meal replacements and special foods that have an added ingredient to improve nutritional value. These supplements frequently include meal shakes and special nutritional chews. You may need to provide a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) to your benefits administrator to qualify for reimbursement from your FSA or HSA.
If you have an LMN, you may be able to use FSA/HSA funds to hire a licensed Nutritionist. Nutritionists are experts in food and nutrition who help clients set up meal plans and make good food choices. They also give advice on the health effects of some foods.
Pregnant women can buy prenatal vitamins as an eligible expense. You do not need an LMN or prescription for reimbursement. (This is the exception; otherwise, vitamins, in general, must be prescribed or have an LMN to qualify for reimbursement.)
Special Baby Formulas
The cost difference between regular baby formula and formula created to relieve a medical condition could be an eligible expense. You may need an LMN to qualify.
These are just some nutrition-related items and medications that qualify for FSA/HSA reimbursement. Be sure to check with your plan administrator and always keep your receipts.
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