How To Use Your HSA for LA Fitness
January 31, 2024
It goes without saying that exercise is an important part of maintaining your health, and it’s not a stretch to say that exercise is medicine. Exercise improves strength and cardiovascular health while helping to maintain a healthy body weight.
We all benefit from a few hours of exercise every week, and doctors universally agree. Exercise is healthcare, but can you use your HSA for a gym membership? You may need to take some extra steps to get there, but it’s possible to cover membership dues with HSA funds.
What Is an HSA?
An HSA, or a health savings account, is a special financial account for healthcare expenses. You deposit pre-tax money specifically earmarked for eligible healthcare expenses, and you pay for them (or reimburse yourself for them) exclusively from that account. Anyone with a high-deductible insurance plan can open an HSA, but Medicare or Medicaid recipients aren’t able to open or use HSA accounts.
Most financial institutions offer HSA accounts to their customers. Some insurance companies allow eligible policyholders to open HSA accounts through the company. There may be benefits to opening an HSA with your current bank, such as special interest rates. If you don’t already have an HSA, see if your loyalty can get you some perks.
You’re the sole owner of your HSA. You’re allowed to deposit or withdraw money into your account as you see fit. Beware: you’ll likely have to pay a tax penalty if you use your HSA funds for anything other than an eligible expense. Always keep your receipts and invoices as proof of eligible purchase to avoid a penalty.
How Does an HSA Work?
You can use your HSA-linked debit card or utilize a reimbursement process to cover costs for eligible medical expenses out of your HSA account. It’s important to save your receipts for HSA-eligible purchases because they serve as proof that you used your funds appropriately.
Some retailers accept HSA/FSA funds as a direct form of payment. You can use a debit card linked to your HSA account to checkout.
Most retailers don’t offer HSA/FSA checkout, especially if their business isn’t primarily in the health or wellness niche. You can still purchase HSA/FSA-eligible goods and services from these retailers, but you’ll need to make the purchase with your own personal money and reimburse yourself from your HSA/FSA account.
You can reimburse yourself for your purchases at any time without limit — you’re allowed to wait as long as you want before recollecting your funds. You can save up all your receipts until the end of the year and reimburse yourself in a lump sum if it’s more convenient for you, for example.
Can You Use Your HSA for a Gym Membership?
HSA funds cover a lot of necessary medical expenses, like copays for prescriptions and doctor visits. HSA funds can be used for medical devices, over-the-counter medications, and even menstrual care products. Unfortunately, gym memberships are considered to be outside of the scope of necessary medical expenses.
That’s not the end of the story. Most doctors would agree that an exercise regimen is a necessary medical expense. Gym memberships can be made eligible through a simple process called a Letter of Medical Necessity. If you talk to your doctor about the ways a gym membership may be medically beneficial for you, your doctor can write you a Letter of Medical Necessity.
Is LA Fitness Eligible for HSA Payment?
LA Fitness, like most of the gyms Truemed partners with, can be eligible for HSA payment if you have a Letter of Medical Necessity. The health benefits of regularly exercising at a gym like LA Fitness are endless — regular workouts can increase cardiovascular endurance, help prevent obesity, and reduce the risk of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes.
Exercise also boasts significant benefits to mental health. Many people find exercise to be a healthy and productive form of stress relief. Exercise causes the body to produce endorphins that contribute to a general sense of mental wellness and may also promote more restful sleep.
Beginning an exercise regimen is one of the most effective proactive decisions you can make to return to health or maintain your current health. Even if you can only find the time to work out two or three times a week, you’re making a meaningful stride toward a healthier lifestyle.
What Is a Letter of Medical Necessity?
A Letter of Medical Necessity is a doctor’s note that allows you to bypass the normal rules and restrictions of HSA-eligible purchases. Many of the things that keep us well aren’t conventionally regarded as medicine, and that includes gym memberships. Doctors often agree that things that don’t come in the form of a prescription or drug are just as necessary as medicine, and they can advocate for you to spend your HSA funds on other health and wellness purchases.
When you have a Letter of Medical Necessity from your doctor, you’re allowed to pay for a gym membership or reimburse yourself for gym membership dues through your HSA. You can also request a letter of medical necessity for things like home workout equipment and fitness trackers to maximize the efficiency of your wellness routine.
How To Get a Letter of Medical Necessity
You can get a Letter of Medical Necessity simply by asking your doctor for one. Doctors are familiar with the process and are usually happy to write letters for their patients who want to take a proactive approach to managing their health.
You can also get a Letter of Medical Necessity by signing up for an LA Fitness membership through Truemed. We’ve simplified the process of obtaining a Letter of Medical Necessity and purchasing a gym membership through HSA/FSA payment.
You’ll take a short survey for a medical evaluation to see if you qualify for a Letter of Medical Necessity. If you’re eligible, you’ll receive a Letter of Medical Necessity from a doctor that will allow you to pay for your gym membership with HSA funds. We partner with gyms and wellness companies to keep the costs of your wellness routines affordable and accessible.
Using Your HSA for a Gym Membership
Although you can’t use your HSA outright to get a gym membership, you can get a Letter of Medical Necessity from a doctor that will allow you to bend the usual restrictions and eligibility requirements. When you use your HSA for LA Fitness, you can use Truemed to easily obtain the Letter of Medical Necessity you need for your gym membership.
If you operate a gym, you can use Truemed’s process to make memberships available through HSA for your members. Truemed’s simple three-step integration process makes it easy to accept HSA/FSA payments and help your members get the Letters of Medical Necessity they need to prioritize their wellness. Contact us to start the process.