Are Vitamins HSA Eligible - What is Covered and What Isn't
January 31, 2024
Vitamins and nutrients are key for human health. They supply your body with most of the fuel it needs to repair tissue and maintain essential systems. It’s obvious that vitamins are a crucial part of healthcare.
Your HSA is intended to cover healthcare-related expenses, and the list of eligible purchases is extensive. While many important healthcare expenses are covered, you may be surprised to learn which expenses aren’t ordinarily eligible for HSA purchase. Here’s what you should know about buying vitamins with HSA funds.
What Is an HSA?
A health savings account (HSA) is a specially designated savings account for pre-tax money you’ve earmarked for eligible healthcare-related expenses. You manage your own HSA with an official HSA custodian, which can be a bank, a credit union, or a health insurance company. You decide how much you want to contribute to your HSA and how often you want to make contributions. Funds never expire and can even accumulate interest.
Anyone with a high deductible insurance plan is generally eligible to open an HSA to cover things that their health insurance won’t cover. The only exception is for people with a flexible spending account (FSA) because you cannot contribute to an HSA and an FSA in the same year.
The money you deposit into your HSA is pre-tax. You can divert it from your paycheck or exempt it from your earnings as an independent contractor, small business owner, or sole proprietor. You never have to pay taxes on your HSA funds as long as they’re used to cover eligible purchases.
What Does an HSA Cover?
Since an HSA is funded by pre-tax money, the IRS has the final say in what can and cannot be covered by an HSA. The list of covered medical expenses is very generous. HSA funds can be used to pay for much more than copays for medical visits and prescriptions.
HSA funds can also be used to pay for prescription medical devices (like diabetes supplies, dentures, and glasses) and some over-the-counter purchases. Things like pain relievers, allergy medicines, cold medicines, and first aid supplies are often HSA-eligible.
HSA funds extend to reproductive health, lactation, and pregnancy supplies. Expectant parents can use HSA funds to purchase things like breast pumps and pay for things like doula services that assist with childbirth.
What Doesn’t an HSA Cover?
HSA funds can’t be used for purchases that wouldn’t be deemed explicitly medical. Over-the-counter medicines are still medicines. First aid supplies and wound care products are overtly regarded as medical devices. Products geared toward nutritional or therapeutic wellness may not be eligible by default.
Are Vitamins HSA Eligible?
Vitamins are regarded as a nutritional product rather than a medical product. As such, they aren’t ordinarily covered by HSA funds. There’s a rule update on the table where lawmakers are discussing adding vitamins and several other necessities to the HSA eligibility list, but it hasn’t yet been made official. Until then, you’ll need to utilize a workaround to purchase necessary vitamins with HSA funds.
Can You Still Get Vitamins With an HSA?
Although the human body cannot survive without vitamins, vitamin supplements aren’t considered to be a necessity for most people. The majority of people sufficiently meet their vitamin needs through their regular diet, but some people still have trouble. People with dietary restrictions, allergies, absorption issues, and chronic deficiencies may require vitamin supplements to help them meet their daily needs.
If you fall into one of the above categories, vitamin supplements would be a medical necessity for you. If your doctor recommends or prescribes a vitamin to treat a health issue, you can obtain something called a Letter of Medical Necessity that serves as official medical permission to use your HSA funds on something that isn’t ordinarily covered.
What Is a Letter of Medical Necessity?
A Letter of Medical Necessity is an official letter prepared by a healthcare provider that states information about your diagnosis and what their recommended treatment or possible cure would be. A Letter of Medical Necessity is used to officially make the case that a specific purchase is necessary for your health.
In the case of vitamins, your doctor would describe the diagnosis of the deficiency, absorption issue, or similar condition. They would explain that vitamin supplements are essential for your well-being and ask your HSA to permit their purchase.
You’ll keep a copy of that letter with receipts you make for any vitamin purchases. It’s important not to lose your letter or your receipts. If you do, you may have to pay a tax penalty on vitamin supplements that you buy with pre-tax money. Your Letter of Medical Necessity is what makes your purchases fully eligible.
A Letter of Medical Necessity can open new doors for HSA purchases. Many products and services work as effectively as conventional medicine for improving or maintaining health, and a Letter of Medical Necessity can unlock restrictions for the people who would benefit most.
How To Get a Letter of Medical Necessity
You can get a Letter of Medical Necessity by scheduling an appointment with your doctor and discussing your desire to use your HSA funds to purchase vitamin supplements. If your doctor agrees that vitamin supplements are necessary for your health care (or if your doctor has already instructed you to use vitamin supplements), your doctor can prepare a Letter of Medical Necessity for you. Most doctors are already familiar with the process.
Wait times for doctor appointments can be long. You may not want to wait as long as three months to obtain your Letter of Medical Necessity, especially if you’d like to buy vitamins right away. Truemed has a simple process that can help you skip the wait.
When purchasing vitamins through a Truemed integrated retailer, enter your payment details, and we’ll prompt you with a quick survey consultation. We’ll match you with a medical professional to determine your eligibility and, if eligible, you’ll receive a Letter of Medical Necessity that you can use to purchase vitamins with HSA funds.
How To Use a Letter of Medical Necessity To Buy Vitamins With Your HSA
You’re able to buy vitamins with HSA funds as soon as you have a Letter of Medical Necessity. There are two ways to buy vitamins with HSA funds, and the method you use will largely depend on the payment methods made available by the retailer you shop with.
Buying Vitamins With HSA Reimbursement
Vitamins are widely available, and you can find them almost anywhere. Grocery stores and many big box retailers often don’t accept HSA as a form of payment. When this happens, make a separate purchase of your vitamins to keep them on their own receipt and pay for them with your own personal funds.
You’re able to use your receipt to reimburse yourself from your HSA. You can withdraw cash, write yourself a check, or electronically transfer the value of the reimbursement to yourself.
Vitamin supplements aren’t usually very expensive, so you may not feel it’s worth the trouble to reimburse yourself every time you buy vitamins. You don’t need to — there is no time limit for reimbursements as long as you made the purchase while you had an active HSA and you’ve maintained your HSA since you’ve made eligible purchases. You can wait until you reach a specific dollar amount, even if you delay reimbursement for several years.
Buying Vitamins With HSA Payment
Some retailers will allow you to make eligible purchases directly from your HSA account with your HSA-linked debit card. Truemed works with dozens of merchants in the vitamin and supplement space to offer HSA payment processing as an option at checkout. Just proceed to checkout with a Truemed
HSA payment processing keeps things easy. There’s no need to use your personal funds or reimburse yourself. You can make an HSA purchase just as easily as you’d make any other purchase. You can shop with Truemed integrated retailers here.
Take Control of Your Health With Truemed
Truemed’s philosophy is simple — food, exercise, and vitamins are medicine. We’re proud to work with leading supplement brands to make fast, easy, and secure HSA payment processing available to people who want to invest in their wellness. Our process for quickly and easily obtaining a Letter of Medical Necessity will help you get the vitamins you need right now rather than having to wait weeks or months for a doctor’s appointment. Empower yourself with Truemed.