Say what? Curious questions we get asked about FSA or HSA reimbursements.

We get so many questions about what expenses are eligible for reimbursement from an FSA or HSA plan (the lists are the same and can be found in Section 213(d) of the IRS code if you want a full list). Most of the questions are fairly mainstream, but some are quite a bit more esoteric.  Here are some of our favorites.

Question: Can I run batteries through my FSA or HSA?

Answer: Surprisingly the answer is maybe. Any battery that is used solely to operate a qualified device like hearing aids, a breast pump, durable medical equipment, a scooter or electric wheelchair are eligible for reimbursement from both an FSA and HSA.


Question: My wife complained that I snore and insisted I get checked out. Turns out I have sleep apnea and my doctor says I need a CPAP machine. Can I be reimbursed for that through my FSA?

Answer: Yes! Not only can you run the CPAP machine through your FSA (and HSA), but any replacement hoses and parts are also eligible for reimbursement. Hope you will both sleep better now!


Question:  I’m wanting to freeze and store umbilical cord blood to possibly be used later in case I need it.  Is that an eligible expense for my FSA?

Answer:  Probably not. Storage of umbilical cord and stem cell storage might qualify if there is a specific and imminent medical condition that the stem cells are intended to treat such as a newborn with a birth defect that the stem cells would be used to treat. However, in your case, collection and storage indefinitely in case you might need it is not eligible an eligible expense.


Question: My teeth are worn out and my dentist tells me I need dentures. Are they an eligible expense for my HSA?

Answer: Good news! Yes. Dentures are an eligible HSA (and FSA) expense – as are the dental adhesives and cleaning products. Enjoy your new smile!


And, a timely question:

Question:  I’m worried about the recent flu epidemic.  Can I buy disposable face masks as an eligible expense through my HSA?

Answer:  Yes, when purchased because there is a current respiratory epidemic or you have a family member who is sick with a communicable illness, a disposable mask is eligible for reimbursement from you HSA (or FSA).


Morale of the story, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Many surprising things are eligible for reimbursement – from condoms to diabetic socks. Even artificial limbs! If you are wondering, drop us a line.

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