Something tells us you’ve been through a lot this year. Among the stress and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and the upcoming whirlwind of the holidays, taking care of yourself and your health has never been more important. But have you taken the time to treat yourself this year?
If you have an FSA (Flexible Spending Account) or HSA (Health Savings Account), you may know that these health accounts allow you to deposit and spend pre-tax money on out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. In short, your FSA works similar to a prepaid gift card with an expiration date and your HSA as a debit card with no expiration date—both accounts have similar requirements for what you can or cannot purchase using your funds.
Most people use their plans to cover costs like deductibles, copayments, prescriptions, and medical equipment (like crutches or bandages). However, there are a number of other categories that you can use your FSA/HSA money that you may have never thought of!
If you’re scrambling to spend the rest of your FSA funds before the December 31, 2020 deadline or looking for an excuse to use your HSA to treat yourself to new health products, this guide is for you. We’ve been digging and found some pretty surprising products and brands that are covered by your FSA/HSA account.
Here are 8 health product categories you didn’t know you could spend your leftover FSA or HSA funds on*:
Our first HSA- and FSA-eligible favorite is a no-brainer: at-home lab tests from Everlywell.
Who has time for waiting rooms or surprise bills? You should be able to check on your health wherever you want, whenever you want, and get access to actionable results you understand without breaking the bank. For general wellness checks, choose from our list of FSA/HSA-eligible lab tests like Food Sensitivity Test, Indoor & Outdoor Allergy Test, or the Metabolism Test, to name a few.
If you’re planning ahead and want to stock up before the deadline, use your leftover FSA funds to get ahead of next year’s unpredictable health costs. Choose from over 30 at-home lab tests like our Heart Health Test, HbA1c Test, or the Men’s Health Test and Women’s Health Test, and plan to bring your at-home lab test results to your next annual check-up.
Can you use your FSA/HSA to purchase a roundtrip flight to your next vacation destination? Of course not. But if a procedure or doctor’s visit requires you to travel, you may be eligible for transportation and lodging reimbursements through your health account.
The most common reimbursements are for bus, taxi, train, and plane fares, and ambulance services. You may also request reimbursement for gas and oil, parking, and some lodging expenses for medical travel. Parents traveling with a child who needs medical care or transportation expenses to visit a mentally ill dependent are eligible to request FSA/HSA reimbursement as well.
For a comprehensive look at IRS-approved travel expenses eligible for FSA/HSA reimbursement, read here.
If you’re the type of person who likes to stock up on over-the-counter staples and everyday household health products, you may be missing out on the opportunity to use your FSA/HSA money for the basics.
Advil? Tylenol? You name it. Your FSA/HSA funds can be used for all kinds of medicine cabinet staples like pain relievers, fever-reducing medication, cough drops, bandages, and even heating pads. Menstrual hygiene products like tampons, pads, menstrual cups, and period underwear are all eligible as well.
Did you know your HSA and FSA could be used toward sunscreens and certain SPF moisturizers? While cosmetics are not covered by FSA/HSA, skincare products like acne treatments, face washes, and spot creams may be eligible for reimbursement. If you’re a fan of brands like Supergoop! or Neutrogena, you’re in luck because you can use your FSA toward their SPF products.
Similar to the skincare category, most lip products are only covered outside of the cosmetics realm. Lip balms, scrubs, and treatments with SPF or with a medicated factor are likely eligible purchases under your health account. Believe it or not, over-the-counter brands like Carmex or ChapStick are on the list!
Most traditional eye care is covered by FSA and HSA, which means no more paying cash for eye exams, prescription eyeglasses, or contact lenses (or contact solution, for that matter). But did you know prescription sunglasses may be an eligible purchase too?
Are you considering starting a family? If you’re making plans to get pregnant, you should know that family planning is also covered under FSA/HSA. Products like pregnancy tests, fertility kits, and related lab tests (including our Women’s Fertility Test!) are eligible purchases.
In addition to menstrual products like tampons and pads, sexual health is also an important category covered under FSA/HSA. You’re likely able to use your health funds toward sexual health products like condoms and services like STI testing. If you’re interested in staying on top of your sexual health without ever leaving the comfort of your home or paying in cash at a clinic, check out our at-home STI lab tests.
In light of the current pandemic, symptom-alleviating products are perhaps the most relevant category of items covered by your health account. You can use your FSA/HSA funds for virus preparedness products like thermometers, sinus inhalers, heating pads, fever-reducing medication, cough drops, and even a weighted hot/cold neck wrap.
COVID-19 testing is covered by your insurance provider, as currently required by law. If you’re looking for an FSA/HSA-eligible option, our FDA-authorized COVID-19 Home Test Collection Kit comes with everything needed to self-collect a sample at home. Learn more about how to purchase the COVID-19 Home Test Collection Kit and the FSA/HSA reimbursement process here.
Disclaimer: This home collection kit has not been FDA cleared or approved. This home collection kit has been authorized by the FDA under an EUA. Read more here.
*Note: Keep in mind that all health accounts are different. Some purchases are only reimbursable with a prescription or doctor’s note and some products are not covered at all. Always check with your benefits coordinator to confirm your eligibility to use your health account funds for new products before purchasing.
Whether the clock is ticking on your FSA funds or you’re looking to treat yourself to a new health-promoting product before the end of the year, check with your benefits coordinator to find out about some of the most surprising products covered by your health account.