Q&A: What can you buy with an FSA? - BuyFSA

Q&A: What can you buy with an FSA?

The FSA Eligibility Guide (with examples)

There are three Flexible Spending Account (FSA) eligibility requirements. To determine FSA eligibility, you must ask if they:

  1. Are a qualified medical expense
  2. Are purchased for a current or imminent medical condition or disease state (preventive medical products are not covered)
  3. Would not be used but for the medical need (dual-purpose items are not eligible)

The three points above are not widely shared, but should be as they form the basis of the question asked when assigning an offical FSA-approved status for thousands of listed FSA-eligible products.


Is it FSA eligible Q&A

Q: Can you buy vitamins with an FSA?

A: No, typically you cannot buy vitamins with your FSA, but there are exceptions. Prenatal vitamins and glucosamine are the only two vitamins that are covered with your Flexible Spending Account.

Other vitamins are considered general health products which is finely separated from FSA-eligible items that need to be used for a specific medical need. Additionally, all herbal supplements are not FSA-eligible.


Q: Can you buy diapers with an FSA?

A: No, you cannot buy baby or infant diapers with an FSA. Diapers are not considered eligible as they do not address an medical condition. That being said, pads and diapers do qualify when addressing adult incontinence.


Q: Can you buy sunglasses with an FSA?

A: No, you cannot buy regular sunglasses with an FSA, but you can buy sunglasses with prescription lenses. Some sites confusingly answer this question with a "yes," but this is misleading as only the shaded prescription lenses qualify. Sunglasses only provide preventive medical benefits (i.e. not FSA eligible).


Q: Can you buy exercise equipment with an FSA?

A: No, exercise equipment is considered ineligible across the board. If you can find a product at a gym, then it is likely not eligible. There is a recent change to eligibility criteria that does give leniency on rehab products and items that you might find in a physical therapy office. But again, if the product could be found in a gym and a PT, this is a dual-purpose item and does not qualify for FSA spend.

One last note - exercise equipment may be eligible for purchase along with a doctor's letter of medical necessity. Generally speaking, any given product could potentially be qualified with this equivalent doctor's note. This, however, does not guarantee that your FSA administrator will clear your claim. It is always the safer route to use your account for surely FSA eligible products to avoid issues when purchases come under review.


Q: Can I buy tampons with an FSA?

A: Yes, as of 2021 (passed with the CARES act) tampons and pads are FSA eligible. You can use your FSA card to buy these products or pay out of pocket and submit a claim for reimbursement with your FSA administrator.


Q: Can you buy contacts with an FSA?

A: Yes, you can buy contacts and glasses with a Flexibile Spending Account. Both glasses and contacts address an imminent medical need and therefore are qualified FSA expenses.


Q: Can you buy protein powder with an FSA?

A: No, you cannot buy protein powder with an FSA. Protein powder falls under the ineligible category: Nutritional Supplements.


Q: Can you buy a Waterpik with an FSA?

A: No, you cannot buy a Waterpik with an FSA. Floss, Toothpaste and Toothbrushes are all considered ineligible expenses. All dental hygiene is classified as a general health expense (general health is a disqualifying categorization for any potential FSA product).


Q: Can you buy a treadmill with an FSA?

A: No, you cannot buy a treadmill with an FSA. No exercise equipment is FSA eligible. You may try to get a doctor's letter of medical necessity to get the purchase covered with your FSA, but in the end you'll be at the whim of your FSA administrator to determine if the letter of medical necessity is satisfactory to reimburse the cost of purchase.


Q: Can you buy supplements with an FSA?

A: No, you cannot buy supplements with an FSA. Supplements are considered to be used for general health. General health expenses are not covered with an FSA.


Q: Can you buy alcohol and drug tests with an FSA?

A: Yes, you can buy both alcohol and drug tests with an FSA. Breathalyzers are also FSA-eligible. These products are considered diagnostic products under and as such, considered eligible under FSA guidelines.


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