Are Fitness Trackers FSA Eligible in 2024?
January 31, 2024
Data makes the world go round. The human body isn’t a machine, and it doesn’t reliably provide the data you need to measure your progress toward your health and fitness goals. That’s why fitness trackers come in handy. A fitness tracker can empower you to take control of your health and encourage you to be mindful of the choices you make. Here’s what you should know about using your FSA to purchase a fitness tracker.
What Is a Fitness Tracker?
A fitness tracker is a wearable device that collects data about what your body is doing. Fitness trackers can be used to measure things like heart rate and the duration of exercise while providing reasonably accurate estimations of how many calories you may have burned. Some fitness trackers are able to provide insights regarding sleep quality and duration.
Fitness trackers usually integrate with a smartphone app to collect and display important data. Many of these apps have a feature that will allow you to share the data you’ve collected with your doctor or personal trainer so they can work with you to evaluate your progress toward your goals and adjust your wellness plan as necessary.
Many people use fitness trackers to take control of their wellness independently, but there is an inherent value in the ability to share data with a healthcare professional. If you need assistance creating a plan to incorporate more exercise into your daily life or to improve the quality of your sleep, your fitness tracker can give a healthcare professional the insights they need to keep you on the right track.
How Does a Fitness Tracker Work?
Fitness trackers use small accelerometers and gyroscopes to track your movements and record them. A fitness tracker can tell when you’re walking, running, standing still, or lying down. You’ll input your biometric information (like your height and weight) for accurate estimates of how many calories you’ve burned and how many steps you’ve taken.
The accuracy of these estimates is improved by a fitness tracker’s ability to track your heart rate. Fitness trackers use LED lights and optical sensors to measure the blood flow in your wrist, which in turn allows the device to calculate your heart rate.
Changes in heart rate and increased movement allow a fitness tracker to determine whether you’re asleep or awake. This allows your fitness tracker to evaluate the quality of your sleep and measure periods of deep, uninterrupted sleep.
Some fitness trackers that utilize advanced technology can be placed into specific modes to gather specific data. You may be able to run tests to determine your resting heart rate or how long it takes your body to return to a resting state after exercise. Advanced features like electrical sensors may even be able to determine the level of stress your body is experiencing.
What Are the Benefits of a Fitness Tracker?
Most of us would benefit from making healthier decisions. The only problem with attempting to implement healthier choices is that your body doesn’t have a direct way of letting you know if things are working out the way you want them to.
You have no way to measure your heart rate throughout the day, the quality of your sleep, or how many calories of energy you’ve actually used simply by asking your body. Fitness tracking devices are designed to give you all of the insights you need to evaluate your progress toward making healthier choices and determine what works best for you.
A fitness tracker gives you the information and insights you need to ensure that you’re following your doctor’s recommendations and making measurable progress toward your goals. Data from your fitness tracker can be shared with your doctor to provide important health insights and evaluate the efficacy of a wellness plan. The statistics provided by a fitness tracker can be invaluable.
What Is an FSA?
An FSA (flexible spending account) is a special account co-established with your employer. You’re able to divert pre-tax money from each paycheck into your flexible spending account to use it for healthcare-related purchases. Although your employer isn’t required to contribute to your account, many employers choose to match contributions up to a certain threshold.
You can use your FSA for qualified healthcare expenses. Most FSA custodians will issue account holders a debit card linked directly to their FSA account. Making a purchase with your FSA is usually as simple as making a purchase with your personal debit card if a retailer accepts FSA as a form of payment.
How Does an FSA Work?
Since FSAs utilize pre-tax money, the IRS gets to establish most of the rules of how an FSA should work. The IRS provides a list of what qualifies as a healthcare-related expense. You’re allowed to spend your FSA on any qualifying purchase, from co-pays for medical appointments to over-the-counter medicine.
You’ll keep your receipt or proof of purchase for every eligible purchase you make. You won’t have to pay taxes on any FSA money that was spent or reimbursed according to the rules.
If you don’t use all of your FSA funds by the end of the year, they may expire. Many people use leftover funds to stock up on healthcare staples they may need throughout the year, like over-the-counter pain relievers and sunscreen. Some employers offer a small extension for residual funds. Check with your human resources department to clarify your employer’s policy.
How To Get a Fitness Tracker With Your FSA
Fitness trackers aren’t on the list of purchases that are FSA-eligible outright. There is an extended list of things you can purchase if a doctor deems them to be medically necessary for your treatment or care plan. Fitness trackers are eligible for something called a Letter of Medical Necessity.
A Letter of Medical Necessity is a formal letter written by your healthcare provider that explains your diagnosis and treatment plan. Your doctor can recommend that you purchase a fitness tracker if they believe your fitness tracker would have a significant medical benefit for your condition (i.e. weight loss or strengthening your cardiovascular system by monitoring heart rate).
You’ll submit your Letter of Medical Necessity to your FSA custodian rather than your employer. Your employer is part of your FSA account, but they don’t actually manage the account. You can keep a copy of the letter for your records, as well as your receipt for your fitness tracker purchase. The two work together to prove that your FSA funds were spent appropriately.
Depending on the retailer you choose, you’ll need to purchase a fitness tracker with your own money and reimburse yourself or use your FSA debit card to make the purchase directly.
How Truemed Can Help Make Fitness Trackers Eligible for FSA
We believe that it should be easy and affordable to take control of your own health. We work with leading retailers in the health and wellness space to make it simple to purchase healthcare needs with HSA/FSA funds. Our process is designed to get you the healthcare goods and services you need the moment you need them.
Truemed’s eligibility survey evaluation will help you determine if you’re eligible for a fitness tracker under FSA rules. If you are, a quick evaluation from a medical professional can help you get the Letter of Medical Necessity that you need. The affordable medical evaluation, like all other medical appointments, is fully FSA eligible.
Truemed works with leading retailers in the health and wellness space to offer FSA payment as a payment option. When you shop with a Truemed retailer, all you need to do is select “Pay with Truemed” at checkout. We’re proud to work with industry leaders like WHOOP and Fourth Frontier that provide empowering and insightful health tech. View our full list of Truemed integrated health tech brands.
Wellness Made Easy
Fitness trackers are FSA eligible if you take a few extra steps to obtain one via the FSA medical necessity process. Plenty of doctors would agree that a fitness tracker can be an invaluable tool for measuring your progress towards a return to health. Truemed makes it easy to get the Letter of Medical Necessity you need and shop for fitness trackers (as well as many other healthcare goods and services) online. Take control of your own health with Truemed.