How To Use Your HSA for Equinox
January 31, 2024
“Medicine” is a dynamic term — it doesn’t exclusively refer to treatment from doctors or the medications they prescribe. Every choice you make to keep yourself healthy is medicine. The foods you put on your plate, your sunrise yoga ritual, and your three workouts a week are medicine.
Your HSA is intended to cover healthcare expenses, and it’s easy to see how a gym membership would be a healthcare expense. If you’re looking to sign up for Equinox, here’s what you need to know about obtaining an HSA gym membership to make your workouts more affordable.
What Are the Benefits of an HSA Account?
A health savings account (HSA) is a savings account specifically for health and wellness-related purchases. HSA accounts are available to anyone with a high deductible insurance policy who isn’t currently receiving Medicare or Medicaid.
You deposit pre-tax money into your HSA and use it to cover a long list of health and wellness-related expenses. Because HSA money is pre-tax, it allows you to save money on health expenses by legally foregoing your taxes. You can also accumulate interest on HSA accounts just like any other savings account.
An HSA can also help you budget by earmarking funds for a specific purpose. You can easily track your spending on health-related needs and establish a functional budget based on real experience of how much you spend in the health category every year.
What Does an HSA Account Cover?
HSA accounts cover obvious medical expenses, like co-pays for prescriptions and doctor visits. HSA funds can be used for necessary medical devices like diabetes management and testing supplies, crutches, wheelchairs, and eyeglasses.
You can also use your HSA to pay for many health-related goods that you’d normally have to pay for with your own personal money. Over-the-counter medicine, cough drops, and first aid kits are HSA eligible You can even purchase things like pads and tampons with your HSA.
Most of the things you’ll find in the pharmacy and first aid aisles of your local grocery store, drugstore, or big box store are HSA eligible, and some of them may even say so on the shelf.
In addition to retail goods, HSA funds can be used to make disability accommodations to homes or vehicles. You can use your HSA funds to install a handicap-accessible shower or tub in your home if you need one. You can install adaptive driving controls or a wheelchair lift ramp in your vehicle (although your HSA won’t cover the cost of purchasing the actual vehicle or paying auto insurance).
Does Equinox Count as a Healthcare Expense?
It seems like a gym membership should be considered a healthcare expense. The entire point of going to the gym is to improve your overall health, and exercise is necessary for your well-being. Exercise can reduce the risk of developing conditions like obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Exercise also improves mental health and relieves stress. It’s an all-around win for your mind and body.
Unfortunately, HSA guidelines don’t see things the same way. HSA rules don’t consider things like gym memberships or workout equipment to be a healthcare necessity for most people despite the fact that the benefits are clear.
Thankfully, there’s a second tier of HSA eligibility. Some things, like supplements, vitamins, workout equipment, and even gym memberships, can be obtainable with a doctor’s note. A Letter of Medical Necessity can open new doors for HSA-eligible purchases, and if you obtain one, your gym membership will become HSA-eligible.
What Is a Letter of Medical Necessity?
A Letter of Medical Necessity is a letter written by any healthcare provider that states that their patient would experience a significant benefit to their health by purchasing a specific product or utilizing a specific service.
Doctors generally approve of any decisions their patients make to improve their health and adopt better habits. They’re often willing to write Letters of Medical Necessity for any patient who wants to use their HSA funds on a product or service that would benefit their health.
A Letter of Medical Necessity can help you use your HSA funds for gym memberships, bone broth, home workout equipment, fitness tracking technology, sleep trackers, supplements, and vitamins.
How Can You Get a Letter of Medical Necessity for Equinox?
You can get a Letter of Medical Necessity for Equinox simply by asking your doctor for one. Doctors are already familiar with the process of writing a Letter of Medical Necessity, and if your doctor agrees to write one for you, they’ll already know what to do.
Alternatively, you can get a Letter of Medical Necessity through Truemed. Choose “Pay With Truemed” at checkout with one of our merchants, then enter your payment details.
You’ll be prompted to answer a couple of questions about your health circumstances, and you’ll then be matched with a provider who can determine your eligibility — if you do qualify, you’ll receive a Letter of Medical Necessity.
How To Use Your HSA for Equinox
We make it easy to use your HSA for an Equinox gym membership. You’re only a few steps away from an affordable gym membership that you can use to keep yourself active, fit, and healthy.
Get a Letter of Medical Necessity
Your Letter of Medical Necessity is the first part of the process. You can obtain that letter from your doctor or through the Truemed survey. Either option works just as well. If you don’t want to schedule a visit with your doctor and wait for an appointment, our solution will help you get your Letter of Medical Necessity much sooner.
Choose Your Form of Payment
There are two ways you can use your HSA to make purchases. The first (and easiest) way is to use the debit card linked to your HSA account. Many gyms don’t offer direct HSA payment for memberships, but Equinox has partnered with Truemed to make it easy. You can put your gym membership on autopay and never have to worry about it again.
Some HSA accounts don’t issue debit cards. If you’re unable to get a debit card from your HSA, you’ll need to pay for your gym membership with your personal funds and reimburse yourself from your HSA. Truemed can send you instructions on how to reimburse yourself from your HSA.
Keep Your Letter of Medical Necessity with Your Receipt
Your Letter of Medical Necessity serves as a justification for using HSA money to pay for your Equinox membership. It’s important to keep your Letter of Medical Necessity with your receipt. If your purchase ever comes into question, the letter will clear things up.
It’s important not to lose your receipts and letters when you make an HSA purchase. HSA money is only tax-free if it’s spent on an eligible purchase or with a Letter of Medical Necessity when a specific purchase requires one. If you don’t keep your receipts and letters, you may have to pay a tax penalty. Set yourself up for success with great recordkeeping.
Is Equinox Less Expensive With HSA?
Everything is less expensive with HSA because HSA funds are tax-exempt. Your dollars go further when you’re allowed to spend them pre-tax simply because there’s more money available. The average person who uses Truemed for an Equinox gym membership will save up to 30% on their membership costs, ultimately making a gym membership substantially more affordable.
Always check for discounts and special rates on gym memberships. Some gyms partner with employers to offer discounted rates to employees. It may be less expensive over time to opt for an annual membership rather than a monthly membership. Crunch the numbers when you sign up and determine which option gives you the most value for your HSA money.
Your Health Is in Your Hands
Although the process involves a few additional steps, you can use your HSA for Equinox or a membership to any other gym. A decent workout a few times a week is medicine, and your doctor will likely agree. Don’t forget to keep track of your HSA expenses, letters, and reimbursements to keep everything above board.
Truemed partners with gyms like Equinox to make it easy for people to take control of their own healthcare. We partner with gyms and retailers to make HSA payment processing widely available for the things people need the most. Shop our selection of HSA/FSA retailers, and use our quick medical evaluation survey to secure a Letter of Medical Necessity when you need one.