Can I buy exercise equipment with my FSA?
No, exercise equipment is not an FSA-approved expense. However, if you have a medical need and can get a letter of medical necessity from your doctor, it could be considered a qualified expense.
It's a best practice to first check with your FSA provider before making a purchase with a letter of medical necessity. After your FSA admin gives you the green light, you can go to a medical care professional to get a letter of medical necessity. And only at that point does it make sense to transact the purchase to have guaranteed FSA reimbursement.
What is exercise equipment (re: FSA)?
Exercise equipment refers to a wide range of devices and tools used for physical fitness and conditioning. Exercise equipment in respect to FSAs, includes: treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical machines, resistance bands, dumbbells, and other fitness gear for workouts.
Why isn't exercise equipment FSA-approved?
Exercise equipment can be considered FSA-eligible expenses, but only when accompanied by a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) from a qualified healthcare professional. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognizes exercise equipment as potentially eligible for FSA reimbursement when it is prescribed as a medical necessity for the treatment or management of a specific medical condition or injury.
How do I get a letter of medical necessity for exercise equipment?
To use your FSA funds for exercise equipment, you must first consult with your healthcare provider to determine if it is medically necessary for your condition. If your healthcare provider recommends exercise equipment as part of your treatment plan, they will provide you with a Letter of Medical Necessity. This letter should outline the medical condition or diagnosis that requires the use of exercise equipment, as well as the specific type or specifications of the equipment needed.
Remember that general exercise equipment used for fitness or wellness purposes without a specific medical necessity may not be eligible for FSA reimbursement. Even with a letter of medical necessity, it's possible that your FSA provider denies your claim if the expense falls far out of the generally accepted health criteria.
Are there alternative FSA-approved exercise products?
While exercise equipment is not eligible with an FSA card, there are related product categories that are FSA-approved without a letter of medical necessity.
Items that qualify include: