Where Can I Use My HSA Card?
January 31, 2024
If you frequently make purchases in the health or wellness space, you might be missing out on the untapped potential of HSA funds. You’re spending hard-earned money on goods and services to promote their well-being, and why should you if you already have an HSA account that exists for that very purpose? You may be able to use your HSA card to shop many of your day-to-day products and services. Here’s how to see if your purchase qualifies and how to get the ball rolling.
What Is an HSA?
An HSA, or a health savings account, is a special savings account that allows people to store pre-taxed income specifically for health-related expenses. People with high deductible health plans (HDHP) are eligible to establish and contribute to an HSA account.
HSA accounts are usually offered by credit unions, banks, and similar financial institutions. Some HSA accounts accumulate interest on unused funds and will even allow withdrawals at a 10% tax penalty.
What Is the Difference Between HSA and FSA?
Retailers that accept HSA funds will often label certain purchases as HSA/FSA eligible, which means that they accept both forms of funding to cover a specific purchase. HSA and FSA accounts are often used for the same purposes, but they have distinct differences and advantages.
With an HSA, the following features apply:
- Completely owned by you
- Can be used if self-employed
- Remaining funds roll over at the end of the year
- You can make withdrawals (with a penalty tax)
- Can be used for fewer items and services than FSA
With an FSA, the following is true:
- Sponsored by an employer
- Can’t be used by self-employed individuals
- Remaining funds disappear at the end of the year
- You cannot make withdrawals
- Can generally be used for more than HSA
Most people who work as full-time employees for a company will have FSA accounts through their employers. Contract workers, entrepreneurs, and self-employed people tend to utilize HSAs due to their better accessibility to individuals.
What Does HSA Cover?
HSA funds can be used to cover the costs of many everyday medical expenses, including expenses related to appointments and over-the-counter health and wellness purchases. Some people may need to take the additional step of obtaining a Letter of Medical Necessity from their doctor to make certain purchases HSA reimbursable.
Medical and Surgical Appointment Copays
Any medical or surgical appointment that is deemed necessary (i.e. anything non-cosmetic) and its associated co-pay or co-insurance costs can be reimbursed with HSA funds. Non-cosmetic dentistry, podiatry, and optometry appointments fall under this umbrella.
HSA funds can also cover telemedicine visits, including telemed or online therapy appointments with licensed mental health professionals. The decision to extend HSA eligibility to telemed services was part of the CARES Act, which was enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES provision stayed in place after the pandemic was declared to be over.
Prescription Copays and Medical Devices
HSA funds can be used to cover copays on prescriptions and medical devices like glucose meters, defibrillators, canes, wheelchairs, braces, hearing aids, false teeth, diabetes test strips, and crutches. Batteries are reimbursable for battery-operated medical devices like pumps and meters.
Over the Counter Medications
There used to be strict rules regarding doctor authorization for over-the-counter medication HSA purchases, but these rules have relaxed significantly. Over-the-counter pain relievers (like ibuprofen and acetaminophen), acid reducers, and allergy medicines are HSA-eligible in most cases. Almost anything you can purchase off of the pharmacy shelf will be covered by HSA funds. You can double-check by asking a pharmacist.
Pregnancy and Lactation-Related Supplies
Childbirth classes, childbirth coaching, doula expenses, and midwifery expenses are HSA eligible. HSA funds can cover things like breast pumps and nursing pads for mothers. Over-the-counter pregnancy tests, over-the-counter ovulation tests, birth control, and next-day oral contraceptives (prescription and over-the-counter variants) are reimbursable expenses.
First Aid Supplies
First aid supplies like first aid kits, isopropyl alcohol, gauze, bandages, latex gloves, ointments, topical antibiotics, and wound sanitizing sprays are HSA reimbursable. Sunscreen, sunburn cream, and sunburn ointments are considered first aid products.
It’s a little-known fact that many facial cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and similar skincare products you may find at the drugstore are considered healthcare products. Skincare products are often HSA reimbursable.
Disability or Adaptive Equipment
HSA funds can be used to reimburse the cost of installing special adaptive controls in a car in order to allow someone with a disability to safely operate a vehicle or to install a wheelchair lift in a vehicle. HSA/FSA funds can’t cover the cost of the car, the insurance, tags, taxes, title, gas, or charging fees. Funds can only be used to make medically necessary modifications to a car.
HSA funds can also be used to cover excess costs of braille books or adaptive reading materials for people with blindness or vision impairment. If the price of a braille book or manual is more than the price of a standard book, HSA reimbursement will cover the difference.
The costs associated with purchasing and training a guide dog are fully HSA reimbursable if a doctor recommends that someone obtains a guide dog or a service dog. Expenses relating to the care of a guide dog, such as food and vet bills, are also covered by HSA funds.
Certain Exceptions With a Letter of Medical Necessity
Some healthcare-related purchases aren’t automatically covered by HSA funds, but exceptions can be made if a patient’s doctor provides them with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN). A Letter of Medical Necessity serves as proof that a specific purchase is necessary for someone’s health.
Doctors can write these letters for obese or overweight patients who may benefit from a gym membership or a special meal program. Exceptions can also be made for certain types of holistic treatments or alternative care providers if a doctor feels as though their patient may substantially benefit from alternative medicine.
Where Can I Use My HSA Card?
HSA cards are accepted at almost every doctor’s office, hospital, and pharmacy. Many big box retailers, including online retailers, are beginning to accept HSA funds as a form of payment for eligible items. If your online store or physical location doesn’t accept HSA funds for eligible purchases, you may be able to open that avenue for your customers.
Truemed works with retailers to make HSA and FSA payment processing available for a wide variety of businesses in the health and wellness niches. We’ve established HSA/FSA payment processing with many well-known brands.
Fitness Memberships, Equipment, and Trackers
A fitness membership, fitness equipment, or fitness trackers may be eligible for HSA (health savings account) coverage when prescribed by a doctor for a specific health condition. This usually happens when the fitness activity is recommended as part of treatment for a diagnosed medical condition, such as obesity, heart disease, or hypertension.
At Truemed, we work with the following to help you pay for your fitness membership using your HSA funds:
- Anytime Fitness
- CorePower Yoga
- F45 Training
- LA Fitness
We also work with the following merchants for fitness equipment:
- DB Method
- DoubleUP Roller
Some of our merchants also offer fitness wearables and trackers:
- Fourth Frontier
- Firefly Recovery
Vitamins, Supplements, and Health Foods
If prescribed or approved by a doctor, vitamins and supplements may also be eligible for HSA reimbursement. These items must be considered a necessary part of treating a diagnosed condition. For example, if a doctor prescribes calcium supplements for osteoporosis, then those supplements may qualify for HSA coverage.
We work with the following merchants to help you use your HSA funds for vitamins and supplements:
- deltaG Ketones
- Dr. Hyman’s Store
- Lyfe Fuel
- Magic Mind
- Mimio Health
- MyPeak Supplements
- Re:Vitalize Weight Loss
- Kibow Biotech
We also work with health foods merchants, such as:
- Kettle & Fire
- Noble Origins
- The Carnivore Bar
- Healo Foods
Sleep is a crucial part of your overall health, and we work with Batelle and Hapbee so you can use your HSA funds to support your sleep wellness.
Cold Plunges and Saunas
If cold plunges or saunas are recommended as part of a medical therapy, such as for arthritis or muscle recovery, they might be covered by your HSA funds, too.
Here are our cold plunge and sauna merchants:
- Select Saunas
- Sisu Lifestyle
- Sweat Tent
- The Pod Company
Testing Services and Home Health
Monitoring your health at home is a great way to stay on track with your wellness. Our testing services and home health merchants include:
Mental Wellness and Wellness Coaching
Merchants like Komuso and Somethings can help you care for your mental wellness on a daily basis using your HSA. At Truemed, we also work with Gritwell and Working Against Gravity to bring you accessible wellness coaching.
We frequently add more retailers to our list as we continue to assist retailers with integrating HSA/FSA payment processing.
Simplify Your HSA Usage With Truemed
An increasing amount of people feel empowered to take their health and wellness into their own hands. Health starts with the decisions we make, and people are becoming more mindful of healthy choices. At Truemed, we make it easy for retailers to offer HSA/FSA purchasing for their health and wellness goods and services, and easy for customers to use their HSA/FSA for their purchases.
With Truemed, it’s easy to use your HSA funds — choose “Pay With Truemed” at checkout with one of our merchants, and enter your payment details. We’ll ask you a few brief questions about your health circumstances, and will work to match you with a provider to determine your eligibility. If you qualify, you’ll receive a Letter of Medical Necessity to complete your purchase.