Let’s stipulate for the record that insurance is a good thing. Whether it’s for your car, your home or your body, it is nice to be “covered.” In the health insurance arena, you might be able to tap into a health savings account or HSA.
These are savings accounts linked to your insurance policy. Typically, these policies have low premiums but high deductibles. By linking an HSA to this type of policy, you can skip paying federal or state taxes on that money. Those funds then can be utilized for all kinds of medical expenses. Just what are you missing out on with your HSA benefits? Here’s the list.
Allergies can be triggered by the environment or by food. If your doctor prescribes you allergy medicine, then you can tap into your HSA funds to pay for those meds. That can mean a lot, especially if you take these medicines on a daily basis. Over-the-counter allergy medications aren’t covered.
Do you have aching feet? Arch supports can make a world of difference. We’re not just talking about the slip-in supports you buy at the grocery store but instead custom-made supports that fit your feet. Those are usually prescribed by your doctor, who will refer you to a podiatrist. All are covered with your HSA funds.
This might seem like such a minor expense, but if you have active kids, then it is easy to see how you can go through many boxes of Band-Aids. Use your HSA funds to keep stocked.
Birth control is considered a medical expense and is approved for use by your HSA. It is not just prescription medication but also includes condoms, spermicidal, IUD, Norplant and, if needed, home pregnancy tests.
For the blind, this isn’t so much of a medical expense as a quality of life expense. Braille books and magazines are inherently more expensive than traditional ones, and using your HSA account can help with the costs of those items.
Contact Lens Solution
Your health savings account money can be applied toward the purchase of your contact lens solution. That means no excuse for dry eyes.
Guide animals have proven to be literal lifesavers for certain individuals. However, the training and care of those animals can often prove to be out of reach for those in need. That is where using your HSA account can come into play. The caveat is you need to register your guide animal with the state and have it approved. You can’t just claim your cats help you lower your blood pressure — although they might.
Mouth guards aren’t just for protecting your smile while playing sports. They are also prescribed by dentists to prevent teeth grinding at night. Some of these mouth guards can be custom-made as well.
If you wear prescription eyeglasses, then you should also be using prescription sunglasses. Constant exposure to the sun can damage your eyes. The key word is “prescription.” You can’t use your HSA funds for a regular pair of sunglasses, even though they protect your eyes. They have to be prescribed by a doctor. That same rule applies to prescription goggles used for swimming or other outdoor adventures.
Clearly, there is a lot you can do with your health savings account funds. Because this all is tied up with taxes, you will definitely want to keep records of all your purchases and prescriptions. Although the IRS has “bigger fish to fry,” you could still be subject to an audit. When you’re armed with receipts, you’ll be in a good position to defend yourself. If you have doubts, then you can always talk to your insurance company or accountant to make sure you’re doing the right thing.