What expenses are covered?

Pay for a wide range of expenses using your accounts

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Health Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) are all tax-advantaged, so the IRS defines the types of expenses that you can pay for with these accounts. Generally, qualified expenses include doctor visits, medications, medical equipment, and dental and vision care for you, your spouse and any dependents

Examples of qualified medical expenses

  • Accupuncture
  • Alcholism treatment
  • Ambulance
  • Birth control
  • Body scans
  • Braille books and magazines
  • Breast pumps and lactation supplies
  • Chiropractor
  • Co-insurance (medical, dental or vision)
  • Copayments
  • Crutches or canes
  • Deductibles
  • Diabetic supplies
  • Diagnostic services
  • Drug addiction treatment
  • Fertility enhancements
  • Flu shots
  • Guide dogs or other service animals
  • Hearing aids and batteries
  • Hospital services
  • Insulin
  • Insurance premiums for COBRA coverage
  • Laboratory fees
  • Lamaze classes
  • Learning disability treatments
  • Long-term care premiums
  • Mastectomy-related special bras
  • Medical equipment and repairs
  • Medical monitoring and testing devices
  • Medical supplies
  • Nursing services
  • OB/GYN
  • Office visits
  • Oxygen
  • Physical exams
  • Physical therapy
  • Pregnancy tests (over-the-counter)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Prosthesis
  • Psychiatric care
  • Reconstructive surgery following
  • mastectomy
  • Smoking cessation (programs/drugs)
  • Speech therapy
  • Sterilization
  • Surgery
  • Transportation, parking and related
  • travel expenses
  • (essential to receive medical care; subject to IRS limits)
  • Vaccinations
  • Vasectomy
  • Weight loss program and/or drugs
  • (if prescribed by a physician to treat a specific medical condition)
  • Wheelchair
  • X-ray fees
  • Braces
  • Dentures
  • Exams
  • Extractions
  • Fillings
  • Teeth cleaning
  • X-rays
  • Contact lenses
  • Examinations and glasses
  • Laser eye surgery
  • Reading glasses (over-the-counter)

Qualified medical expenses that require a prescription

Expenses for items that are merely beneficial to the general health are not expenses for medical care. Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines or drugs can be reimbursed only if prescribed by a doctor. In addition, each account is subject to additional rules that may prohibit reimbursement of an otherwise qualifying medical expense. This list is not exhaustive.

  • Acid controllers
  • Allergy and sinus medicine
  • Anti-diarrheals
  • Anti-gas products
  • Anti-itch and insect bite
  • Anti-parasitic treatments
  • Baby rash ointments/creams
  • Cold sore remedies
  • Cough, cold and flu
  • Digestive aids
  • Feminine anti-fungal/anti-itch
  • Hemorrhoidal preps
  • Laxatives
  • Motion sickness
  • Pain relievers (for example, aspirin)
  • Respiratory treatments
  • Sleep aids and sedatives
  • Stomach remedies

HSAs and retirement

You can use your HSA to pay for qualified expenses now or in retirement. Once you enroll in Medicare, you can no longer contribute to your HSA, but you can make tax-free distributions to pay for:

  • Medicare Part B (outpatient services)
  • Medicare Part C Premiums (private Medicare replacement policy)
  • Medicare Part D premiums (prescription drugs)
  • Most employer retirement plan premiums

For a complete list of qualified medical expenses see IRS Publication 502.