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Pop Quiz! How Well Do You Know Your FSA/HSA Eligible Expenses?

Pop Quiz! Eligible Expenses

It’s time for a pop quiz! Test your knowledge of eligible expenses for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) with the following questions. The answers are below. (Don’t worry – I won’t grade your answers). Good luck!

Pop Quiz – FSA/HSA Eligible Expense Questions

  1. My child is a picky eater so my doctor suggested that for breakfast I give him one of those high-protein, high-vitamin drinks for kids. Can I pay for that with my FSA?
  2. I can buy regular bandages and first aid kits with my FSA. What about medicated bandages?
  3. I want to try prescription sunglasses this year, rather than using the kind that fit over my regular glasses. Can I use my FSA or HSA to pay for the prescription sunglasses?
  4. I wear contacts and go through lens cleaner pretty regularly. Is contact lens cleaner an eligible expense?
  5. My family is getting back into fitness. Can I pay for a gym membership with my benefit account?
  6. My child just had their braces removed and now wants teeth whitening. Will an FSA cover that?
  7. I have run out of ibuprofen. Do I need a prescription to buy pain relievers with my benefits account?
  8. My spouse is disabled, but can drive with certain vehicle modifications. Can I cover that with my FSA?
  9. My hospital bill went to collections by the time insurance paid their share. Now it’s time to pay my share. Can I still use my FSA even though I’m paying a collection agency?
  10. My father-in-law lives with us but he works full-time and makes enough money that he files his own tax return. Can I use my FSA to cover his medicines?

FSA/HSA Eligible Expense Answers

My child is a picky eater so my doctor suggested that for breakfast I give him one of those high-protein, high-vitamin drinks for kids. Can I pay for that with my FSA/HSA?

Answer: Food products are generally not eligible for reimbursement from an FSA or HSA. You may be able to cover special baby formulas with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) from your pediatrician.

I can buy regular bandages and first aid kits with my FSA. What about medicated bandages?

Answer: Non-medicated bandages do not require a prescription in order for you to use your benefits account. The CARES Act removed this requirement for over-the-counter medications.

I want to try prescription sunglasses this year, rather than using the kind that fit over my regular glasses. Can I use my FSA to pay for the prescription sunglasses?

Answer: Yes. Prescription eyewear, including sunglasses, may be purchased with an FSA, Limited Purpose FSA, or HSA.

I wear contacts and go through lens cleaner pretty regularly. Is contact lens cleaner an eligible expense?

Answer: Yes, contact lens cleaner is an eligible expense.

My family is getting back into fitness. Can I pay for a gym membership with my benefit account?

Answer: No. While fitness can improve your overall health and well-being, gym memberships are not an eligible expense.

My child just had their braces removed and now wants teeth whitening. Will an FSA cover that?

Answer: Teeth whitening is considered a non-medical cosmetic expense and therefore cannot be covered by your benefits account. Braces and orthodontics are eligible expenses with your FSA, HSA or Limited Purpose FSA.

I have run out of ibuprofen. Do I need a prescription to buy pain relievers with my benefits account?

Answer: No, you do not need a prescription. Thanks to the CARES Act, you can now purchase over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen and other pain relievers, with your FSA or HSA.

My spouse is disabled, but can drive with certain vehicle modifications. Can I cover that with my FSA/HSA?

Answer: With a letter of medical necessity (LMN), you can cover the cost of automobile adaptive equipment to assist a disabled driver. You can also pay for improvements that enable a person (passenger or driver) to enter or exit the vehicle.

My hospital bill went to collections by the time insurance paid their share. Now it’s time to pay my share. Can I still use my FSA even though I’m paying a collection agency?

Answer: Yes, but you may have to submit a detailed receipt for review rather than using your FSA/HSA debit card, depending on how the collection agency’s merchant card terminal is coded.

My father-in-law lives with us but he works full-time and makes enough money that he files his own tax return. Can I use my FSA/HSA to cover his medicines?

Answer: The IRS allows you to cover your spouse, children up to age 26, and other relatives who live with you that you claim on your tax returns. Since your father-in-law files his own return and cannot be claimed as a dependent on your paperwork, the answer is no.