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HSA qualified expenses

What can you use the money in your health savings account (HSA) to pay for? The federal government decides which expenses "qualify." These lists are not complete, but can guide you.

Qualified expenses include:

  • Copays for medical expenses and drugs
  • Coinsurance and deductibles determined by your health plan
  • Doctor and hospital visits, including surgeries
  • Chiropractor and podiatrist visits
  • Prescription drugs
  • Birth control and sterilization
  • X-rays and lab tests
  • Vaccinations and immunizations
  • OTC (over-the-counter) items (see details about OTC items below)
  • Vision expenses such as glasses or contact lenses
  • Dental and orthodontia expenses
  • Hearing tests, hearing aids, and other hearing loss expenses
  • Long-term hospital or nursing care
  • Treatment for alcoholism or drug abuse
  • Smoking cessation therapy
  • Wheelchairs, artificial limbs
  • COBRA and Medicare plan premiums (and, if you are unemployed, other types of health insurance premiums)

Items not qualified for reimbursement from your HSA

  • Cosmetic surgery, plastic surgery
  • Funeral expenses
  • Health club dues
  • Tooth whitening

Read more about what expenses qualify for tax-free reimbursement through an HSA in IRS Publication 502.
Find IRS Publication 502 at the US Department of the Treasury website. (This link will open in a new browser window.)

Over-the-counter (OTC) item reimbursement

Beginning January 1, 2011, most OTC items can no longer be paid for using an HSA unless they've been prescribed by a physician. See lists below for details.

OTC items that require a doctor's prescription

  • Acid controllers
  • Allergy and sinus medications
  • Antibiotic products
  • Anti-diarrheals
  • Anti-gas products
  • Anti-itch/insect bite products
  • Anti-parasitic treatments
  • Baby rash ointments/creams
  • Cold sore remedies
  • Cough, cold and flu remedies
  • Digestive aids
  • Feminine anti-fungal/itch drugs
  • Hemorrhoid treatments
  • Laxatives
  • Motion sickness products
  • Pain relief products
  • Respiratory treatments
  • Sleep aids and sedatives
  • Stomach remedies

OTC items that do NOT require a doctor's prescription

  • Insulin
  • First Aid supplies like Band-Aids, elastic bandages/wraps
  • Condoms
  • Walking aids such as braces/supports, walkers, canes and/or crutches
  • Catheters
  • Contact lens supplies/solutions
  • Denture adhesives
  • Diagnostic tests/monitors
  • Ostomy products
  • Reading glasses
  • Wheelchairs

Last modified: 1/10/2012
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