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9 FSA Eligible Expenses That May Surprise You

FSA Eligible Expenses (Picture of a speeding ambulance on a yellow background)

With a healthcare FSA, your pre-tax money covers a wide range of common medical expenses. These include doctor visits, surgery and other medical procedures, prescription and over-the-counter medicines, as well as dental and vision care.  However, you may be surprised that the following products and services also qualify as FSA eligible expenses.

9 FSA Eligible Expenses You May Not Know About

1. Alternative Medicine Procedures

Procedures such as acupuncture and chiropractor visits are eligible expenses with your FSA.

2. Ancestry Kits

Ancestry kits have become increasingly popular in recent years. If you’re interested in learning about your heritage and how your DNA could impact your health, you may be able to use your FSA. The kit should include a health report in order to be eligible. Be sure to check with your benefits administrator for more information.

3. Braille Reading Material 

Braille reading materials often cost more than a standard print edition. The cost difference between the two versions can be claimed as an eligible expense.

4. Lead-based Paint Removal

Removing lead-based paint from your home walls and surfaces is a qualified expense if:

  1. Removal prevents a child who has or had lead poisoning from eating the paint;
  2. Surfaces have peeling, cracking, or flaking paint; or
  3. The child can easily reach the lead paint (i.e. removing paint from a ceiling does not qualify).

NOTE: Removal costs are qualified, however, the cost of repainting the scraped area (labor and paint) does not qualify. You also cannot claim covering the affected area with wallboard or paneling instead of removing the paint; this is considered a capital expense rather than a medical expense.

5. Organ Transplants

If you’re a donor (or possible donor) you can claim the cost of medical care received related to the transplant. You can include costs for transportation. If you cover the cost of medical care of another donor in connection with organ donation, you may be able to claim that as well.

6. Service Animal Expenses

FSAs can cover the cost of purchasing, training, and maintaining a guide dog (or other service animal) that assists people with visual, hearing. or other physical disabilities. Maintenance costs can include food, grooming, and veterinary expenses.

7. Transportation for Medical Care

When you’re traveling to and from medical care, you can claim bus, taxi, train, and air fares, and ambulance service. An FSA can also cover transportation expenses for the following:

  • Parents who accompany their children for medical care
  • Adults traveling to receive medical care who cannot travel alone can use their FSA to cover transportation for a nurse or other person who can give injections, medications, or other treatments
  • Regular visits to a mentally ill dependent are eligible, as long as the visits are part of the recommended treatment

8. Vehicle Accessibility Modifications for the Physically Impaired

Some people need to alter their modes of transportation to make them more accessible. Vehicle accessibility modifications such as hand steering controls and wheelchair lifts are eligible expenses. You can also claim the cost difference between a regular vehicle and one designed to hold a wheelchair.

9. Wigs

If you lost part or all of your hair due to a disease or medical treatment (such as radiation or chemotherapy), you can purchase a wig with your FSA.

For a full list of FSA eligible expenses, see IRS Publication 502.

The more you know about using your FSA, you’ll be able to take full advantage of your benefit account. Remember to hold on to your receipts and other documentation so you can receive reimbursement for these expenses.

Contact your benefits administrator for more information on claims and reimbursement.