Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? In light of this designation, I would be remiss to overlook how you can use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) for nutrition eligible expenses.
One thing to remember is that eligible medical expenses are strictly defined as “the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body.” Furthermore, the purpose of the expense must be to relieve or prevent a physical or mental defect or illness. In other words, eligible expenses have specific medical purposes, so food consumed to maintain routine health does not qualify.
Nevertheless, here some actual nutrition-related eligible expenses in honor of National Nutrition Month.
Dehydration can make you feel bad and prevent you from digesting food and nutrients properly. It can be especially harmful for young children.
Items that help replace fluids and electrolytes, such as Pedialyte, are an eligible expense.
Digestive aids can help people suffering from indigestion, heartburn, lactose intolerance, constipation, diarrhea, and related ailments. Over-the-counter items such as antacids, laxatives, and anti-diarrhea medicines are all eligible expenses under your FSA or HSA.
“Nutritional supplements” is a broad term for meal replacements and special foods that have an added ingredient that improves the food’s nutritional value. This could include meal shakes and meal replacement plans.
You may need to provide an LMN to your benefits administrator for reimbursement from your FSA or HSA.
With a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN), you can pay for the services of a licensed Nutritionist.
Nutritionists are experts in food and nutrition. They help their clients set up meal plans and choose the right foods to eat, and provide advice on the health effects of certain foods.
Women who are pregnant can buy prenatal vitamins as an eligible expense, since these are considered over-the-counter items. You do not need an LMN or prescription for reimbursement.
The cost difference between regular formula and alternative formulas for babies with special medical conditions could be an eligible expense. To qualify, you may need a LMN to submit to your benefits administrator.
These are just some of the nutrition-related items and medications that could qualify as a eligible expense. Be sure to check with your plan administrator and always keep your receipts.
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