fsa medical lodging

Is lodging for medical care FSA-approved?

Can I book lodging for medical care with my FSA?

Yes, lodging for medical care is FSA-approved for stays in hospitals or similar establishments. The Internal Revenue Service recognizes the financial burden patients may face when traveling for necessary medical treatment and allows the use of FSA funds to cover the cost of lodging in such situations. However, there are several limitations, outlined below.

Under certain circumstances, the cost of lodging outside of a hospital are considered FSA-eligible as well. According to the IRS, lodging outside of a hospital qualifies for FSA reimbursement if the following criteria are met:

  1. The lodging is primarily for and essential to medical care.
  2. The medical care is provided by a doctor in a licensed hospital or in a medical care facility related to, or the equivalent of, a licensed hospital.
  3. The lodging isn't lavish or extravagant under the circumstances.
  4. There is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel away from home.

Source: IRS Publication 502

What is medical lodging?

Lodging for medical care refers to the cost of accommodations incurred when an individual needs to travel away from their home for necessary medical treatment. This type of expense is especially relevant for patients seeking medical care in distant locations where commuting on a daily basis is impractical or in cases where specialized medical facilities are not available locally.

The IRS distinguishes between lodging at a hospital (or similar institution) and outside lodging that provides access to the hospital or medical care facility where the patient is being treated.

Hospital Lodging vs. Outside Lodging FSA Reimbursement Rules

  1. At hospitals, both meals and lodging expenses are covered up to $50 per night
  2. An added $50 per night is eligible for a second person traveling with the patient
  3. Meals purchased outside of the hospital or medical care facility are not FSA eligible

What documentation do I need to get reimbursed for medical lodging?

To be eligible for FSA reimbursement, lodging for medical care must meet certain criteria. The expenses must be primarily for and essential to medical care, meaning the lodging is directly related to receiving necessary medical treatment. This includes overnight stays at hotels, motels, or other accommodations near the medical facility where the treatment is received.

Make sure to keep detailed records and documentation to support FSA claims for lodging expenses. This documentation should include itemized receipts, a statement from the medical provider indicating the medical necessity of the lodging, and information about the treatment received and its duration.

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