May 6, 2020

Using Your HSA for At-Home Wellness

By Lively, Health Savings Account (HSA) Provider

HSAs are often used for ancillary health needs, such as glasses and dentistry, but did you know you can use this account for day-to-day health needs as well? The U.S. health system typically treats sickness, with the responsibility of maintaining wellness resting on the individual. While your health insurance isn’t likely to pay for that wellness retreat, you can use your HSA to pay for other wellness products like ibuprofen, allergy medication, sunscreen, and other items that might help keep you out of the doctor’s office.

Here’s a list of some things you can buy with your HSA:

Household Basics

Every household should have these basic wellness items. Due to the CARES act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, you can now use your HSA money to pay for over-the-counter medications without a prescription.

  • First aid kits
  • Ibuprofen
  • Tylenol
  • Thermometer
  • Band-aids
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Sunscreen

Menstrual Care

The CARES act also added menstrual care to the list of qualified medical expenses for which you can use your HSA contributions. These items include:

  • Tampons
  • Liners
  • Cups
  • Sponges

Baby Items

If you have a little one at home, you’ll be pleased to know that some of the supplies you’re stocking up on are eligible for reimbursement through your HSA, including:

  • Infant and Kids’ Tylenol
  • Infant and Kids’ Motrin
  • Gripe water
  • Gas drops
  • Pedialyte
  • Diaper rash ointment
  • Eczema treatment
  • Potty training underwear and pullups

Stress Relief

Can’t get in to see your acupuncturist, massage therapist, chiropractor, or get a pedicure? Don’t worry, you can use your HSA money on home treatments like these to tie you over:

  • Cooling eye masks
  • Acupressure mats and pillows
  • Massage guns
  • Home pedicure kits: heated bubbling foot spas; foot massagers; foot buffers, scrubs and creams, nail files and clippers; and cuticle trimmers.
  • Heated blankets and neck pillows

Minor Injuries

You can also use HSA money to buy supports for minor injuries like:

  • Ankle, knee, back and wrist braces
  • Crutches
  • Cold packs
  • Compression socks

Seasonal Relief

Irritated by allergies? These at-home treatments are considered qualified medical expenses:

  • Allergy medicine
  • Humidifiers
  • Steamers
  • Air purifiers

Important Note: a reimbursement for some of these products require a Letter of Medical Necessity from your healthcare provider. They must be used to treat, diagnose, mitigate, or cure a medical condition or disease to be eligible for HSA purchases. You can search for eligible items here.

How You Can Purchase HSA Eligible Items

You can use your HSA contributions to pay for home wellness just as you would use them to pay for more traditional medical expenses. That means, if your HSA administrator offers you direct access to your funds via a debit card, you can use it to pay for these expenses at the point-of-sale.

Just be sure whatever you buy is considered a qualified medical expense. Otherwise, you will not only get stuck with the bill, but there’s also a chance you’ll have to pay an additional penalty on top of it.

Another thing to be aware of for 2020: due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has extended the deadline for filing federal taxes to July 15, 2020. As such, you have until this date to make contributions to your HSA for the previous year. You cannot, however, exceed the previously set annual contribution limits for 2019 which were $3,500 for an individual and $7,000 for a family. If you were 55 or older, you could contribute an additional $1,000 catch-up contribution for a total of $4,500 for individuals and $8,000 for families.

Maintaining wellness at home is one of the best ways to stay out of the doctor’s office. Thankfully, you can use your HSA money to do it. If you have any questions about specific treatments or products, reach out to your HSA administrator to ensure they’re considered a qualified medical expense.

Disclaimer: The content presented in this article are for informational purposes only, and is not, and must not be considered tax, investment, legal, accounting or financial planning advice, nor a recommendation as to a specific course of action. Investors should consult all available information, including fund prospectuses, and consult with appropriate tax, investment, accounting, legal, and accounting professionals, as appropriate, before making any investment or utilizing any financial planning strategy.


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Lively, the #1 user-rated HSA provider, currently administers health savings accounts for Alliance Health Plan participants. Their team is dedicated and passionate about simplifying and improving how people save and spend their healthcare funds. They put customers’ needs first, providing exceptional customer support and bringing HSAs into the modern era. Lively’s goal is to make it easy to save on the costs of healthcare today and plan for the costs of tomorrow.

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