Health savings accounts can help cover qualified emergency, dental, vision, and family medical expenses as well as over-the-counter purchases. There are hundreds of eligible expenses members can use their HSA pretax dollars for.

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
  • Quitting tobacco therapy
  • Wheelchairs, artificial limbs
  • COBRA and Medicare plan premiums (and, if you are unemployed, other types of health insurance premiums)

Qualified over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and items

Many over-the-counter medications and health related supplies are eligible for HSA reimbursement. With the passage of the CARES Act, as of January 1, 2020, over-the-counter medications no longer require a doctor's prescription to be considered a qualified medical expense.

Common OTC HSA-eligible medicines

  • 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
  • Insulin
  • Laxatives
  • Motion sickness products
  • Pain relief products
  • Respiratory treatments
  • Sleep aids and sedatives
  • Stomach remedies

OTC items are also eligible and include:

  • 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

Example expenses that do not typically qualify for HSA reimbursement

  • Cosmetic surgery, plastic surgery
  • Funeral expenses
  • General well-being items
  • Health club dues
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Toiletries
  • Tooth whitening

The IRS provides two helpful publications that are updated every year. IRS Publication 502 lists eligible healthcare expenses that qualify for tax-free reimbursement. IRS Publication 969 provides helpful guidance in understanding how to most effectively and compliantly use your HSA.

We wrote the book on HSAs 

We offer members a digital copy of our HSA Guide, complete with a list of terms to know, information on HSA eligibility, tips on how to manage your HSA and advice about how you can best spend your HSA dollars. The guide is a quick and easy reference to help you understand the basics or brush up on your HSA knowledge – at home or on-the-go.

Download the HSA guide