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Heading Back to School with your Healthcare Benefits Account

Back to school

When school is getting ready to start up, there are some healthcare needs that should be taken care of before the school year kicks off. Here’s a quick rundown of eligible healthcare expenses associated with heading back to school.


Measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, polio, HPV … and more. These diseases, once common, have been minimized through immunizations, which have greatly improved our life expectancy and quality of life. They are an important part of keeping school-aged children healthy and are required by most schools across the country.

Immunizations are an eligible healthcare expense and can be paid for with your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA), and Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA). Keep in mind that, with an HRA, the expense must be plan approved.

Eye Exams and Eyewear

Did you know that 1 in 4 children and adolescents have vision problems? It is estimated that 80 percent of learning is done with the eyes. Whether the child has a hard time reading the blackboard or overhead projector, or can’t read a book up close to his or her face, it makes it hard to concentrate and learn.

Thankfully, eye exams and eye wear are eligible healthcare expenses. You can buy prescription eye wear (including contacts and sunglasses) and even reading glasses with an FSA, Limited Purpose FSA, or HSA. For contact wearers, you can also buy contact lens solution.

Some vision correction procedures, such as LASIK, are also payable with a healthcare benefits account.

Dental Exams and Treatment

Before the kids get back into the classroom, some school districts require a back-to-school checkup. Like with a set of eye problems, when a child has an aching tooth or cavity, it can make it difficult to stay focused in class. Plus, dental health is directly related to overall wellness.

When you visit the dentist, you can pay for a range of services and treatments, including:

  • Exams
  • Fillings
  • Sealants
  • Crowns
  • Bonding
  • Extraction
  • Gingivitis treatments

Here are some tips on taking your child to see the dentist for a checkup.

Other items

Here is a list of additional school-related items that can be purchased with an FSA or HSA:

  • Hearing aids and batteries
  • Braille reading materials
  • Orthotic shoe inserts
  • First aid supplies, like un-medicated bandages
  • Some acne treatments

Contact your benefits administrator for a full list of eligible medical expenses before you or your children go back to school. Remember to keep your receipts for any purchases with your healthcare benefit account for reimbursement and records keeping.