(AscendHealthy.com) – Many US residents rely on health savings accounts (HSAs) to bridge the gap high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) leave behind. HSAs can cover a lot more than medical bills and prescription drugs, but some users may not be aware of their full benefits.
The accounts, which are tax-free as long as funds go solely to medical expenses, can be lifelines when HDHPs alone aren’t enough to keep the bills from piling high. Know what’s covered to make every dollar stretch as far as possible.
Taking Full Advantage of Your HSA
With few exceptions, any medical or dental expense that qualifies as a tax deduction also qualifies for HSA coverage. Check out these fifteen unexpected expenses users can buy with theirs.
- Acupuncture that treats a medical issue counts as a medical expense.
- Ambulance rides to the hospital also count.
- Corrective laser eye surgery qualifies under treatment to correct defective vision.
- Dental procedures and devices necessary to the patient’s health, including dentures, count as HSA expenses — although tooth whitening does not.
- Disability accommodations, such as construction to build wheelchair ramps or accessibility equipment in bathrooms, qualify.
- Drug or alcohol addiction treatments count as medical therapies, and HSAs will even cover food and lodging in treatment centers.
- Fertility treatments may qualify.
- Nursing services, including in-home care, count as medical expenses.
- Service animals and guide dogs qualify for disabled users who need extra help to function. HSAs can cover purchasing, training, grooming and feeding the animal. Veterinary services for service animals also qualify.
- Smoking cessation is vital to the continued health of any smoker and is technically a medical treatment.
- Medical transportation to and from appointments and procedures is also a valid HSA expense.
- Weight loss programs qualify when the patient’s doctors believe weight loss is medically necessary for the person’s future wellness. Crash diets and weight loss for cosmetic purposes don’t count.
- Prosthetics necessary for a patient’s normal functioning, such as artificial limbs, qualify.
- Medical deductibles and copays can become less burdensome with HSA funds going toward them.
- Insurance premiums qualify under special circumstances, such as COBRA, long-term care coverage and Medigap, and can count as payable expenses.
HSAs exist solely to reduce the burden of health costs insurance plans can miss, but they’re no good to us unless we use them. HSA users pay in thousands of pre-tax dollars each year, and healthcare is expensive, so why not take advantage of every benefit available?
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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