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How To Use Your HSA for Bone Broth

Author:

Calley Means

Published Date:

January 31, 2024

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In many ways, food is medicine. The choices you make about what you put on your plate can have a significant impact on your health. Bone broth is a lean source of high-quality protein that can easily fill gaps in your diet without adding excessive calories or unhealthy fats. 

Shouldn’t your HSA understand that bone broth can be medically beneficial for you? Here’s what you need to know about your HSA and where to buy bone broth with FSA funds.

What Is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is a clear liquid made from slowly simmering bones for a very long time. It can be made from any bones, but it’s usually made from chicken or beef bones because they have the highest concentrations of protein. 

Bone broth is different from normal cooking broth or stock, which are prepared for flavor rather than nutritional value. By including the meat and collagen-rich tissue and slowly simmering the bones, the broth becomes a wealth of healthy lean protein with little to no fat content. This makes bone broth an excellent source of collagen-based protein that’s easy for the body to process and utilize.

You can use bone broth to make soups, stews, and sauces. Many people enjoy bone broth all on its own by warming it and sipping it as part of their daily diet. 

What Are the Benefits of Bone Broth?

The phrase “superfood” is often overused, but in this case, the shoe fits. Bone broth is a highly beneficial food that can easily occupy an important space in your daily diet. By swapping lower-quality sources of protein for bone broth, you may find that weight management and muscle recovery become much easier.

Bone Broth Is High in Protein

Bone broth packs a lot of protein into a small serving size. One 16-ounce serving of bone broth contains a staggering 25 grams of protein. The average adult needs about 50 grams of protein per day. Just 16 ounces of bone broth is approximately half of your daily protein requirement. An 8-ounce cup of broth with lunch and dinner can help you meet your protein goals in the easiest way possible. 

Bone Broth Is Low in Fat and Calories

Many foods that are high in protein are usually also high in calories and fat. This is especially the case with animal-based foods. Comparatively, 8 ounces of bone broth contains 0 grams of fat, 15 grams of protein, and 50 calories while 8 ounces of ground beef contains 13 grams of mostly unhealthy fat, 22 grams of protein, and over 200 calories. Although bone broth contains slightly less protein, the pros outweigh the cons in the overall context of the nutrition facts.

Bone Broth Is More Nutritious Than Stock or Normal Broth

Stock and broth are made for flavor. They’re excellent cooking ingredients, but they don’t do much to contribute to the nutritional value of a dish. Swapping normal stock or broth for bone broth can amp the protein content of a meal without any extra work. Bone broth is a great way to add protein to vegetable soups or veggie-heavy dishes without the need to prepare meat. 

As a bonus, it’s shelf stable and has a long life in your pantry. You never need to worry about thawing it out or safely cooking it to room temperature. It’s a chef’s dream, which is why so many chefs keep a few cartons handy.

Bone Broth Can Be a Valuable Alternative to Protein Powder

Most protein powders contain dairy ingredients. If you have a dairy allergy or sensitivity, it can be hard to find a protein substitute that is both delicious and gentle for you to consume. Sipping bone broth might be a valuable solution. Of course, it won’t taste sweet like protein powder, but it’s not always a bad thing to switch things up and enjoy a savory protein drink. 

What Does an HSA Cover?

HSAs are intended to cover most healthcare-related expenses. An HSA will cover obvious medical expenses, like copays for prescriptions and doctor visits. HSA funds can also be used for over-the-counter health-related purchases, like pain relievers and allergy medicine.

HSA funds can technically be used to pay for anything deemed medically necessary. If your doctor believes that your health will benefit from a product or service that isn’t ordinarily covered by HSA funds, your doctor can write you a Letter of Medical Necessity. A Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) can be used to justify special HSA purchases.

Does HSA Cover Bone Broth?

HSA funds don’t cover food or supplements by default, but there are some situations where a food or supplement purchase can reasonably be regarded as medicine. Health starts with the choices that we make. Although bone broth isn’t usually regarded as medicine under HSA guidelines, your doctor can still write you a Letter of Medical Necessity if they believe that incorporating bone broth into your diet would significantly benefit your health. 

How To Buy Bone Broth Using HSA Funds

Once your doctor has provided you with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) for bone broth, there are two ways you can buy it with FSA funds. 

With Your HSA Debit Card

Some retailers accept HSA debit cards as a direct form of payment. This makes things a lot easier. You just add the bone broth to your cart, choose HSA/FSA as your payment method, and check out like you would with any other bank card. It’s not much different from shopping with your personal money. Just make sure you keep the receipt with your LMN to prove that you spend your HSA funds appropriately.

By Reimbursing Yourself From Your HSA

You can buy bone broth from any store that sells bone broth and reimburse yourself from your HSA with your receipt. You can withdraw cash, cut yourself a check from your HSA account, or transfer the funds to your personal bank account electronically.

The reimbursement process is somewhat extensive. If you spend $10 on bone broth, it may not be worth the effort to reimburse yourself right away. Thankfully, there’s no time limit on reimbursement for HSA purchases as long as you make the purchases while you have an open HSA account. You can choose to wait until you reach a certain dollar amount (i.e. $100) and reimburse multiple receipts from multiple shopping trips at the same time.

Where To Buy Bone Broth Using HSA Funds

Truemed works with brands to help them offer HSA/FSA as a payment method for their online stores. We work with dozens of brands in every space of health and wellness, including three bone broth companies: 

  • Kettle & Fire
  • Healo Foods
  • Noble Origins

When you use Truemed to shop through any of these bone broth brands, you can choose “Pay With Truemed” at checkout and answer a few questions about your health circumstances. We’ll match you with a provider to determine eligibility, and if you qualify, you’ll receive a Letter of Medical Necessity to complete your purchase using your HSA.

The Wrap Up

Bone broth is beneficial for your health, and your HSA exists specifically to make health and wellness-related purchases more affordable. Although bone broth isn’t HSA eligible outright, you can use a Letter of Medical Exception to exempt your purchase of bone broth from normal eligibility requirements. 

If you’re hoping to use your HSA/FSA funds on bone broth, Truemed makes it easy to take control of your own wellness. 

Sources:

Bone Broth vs. Stock: Which Is Better? | Cleveland Clinic

Picking Healthy Proteins | American Heart Association

How much protein do you need every day? | Harvard Health

Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight | Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Activity | CDC

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