Are Vitamins FSA Eligible – Overview
Vitamins are classified as over-the-counter (OTC) products bought by people to maintain good health. Though many vitamins and supplements have health benefits, vitamins alone do not automatically qualify as an eligible medical expense, as per IRS rules.
Consequently, it makes buying vitamins with your FSA (Flexible Spending Account) or HSA (Health Savings Account) quite tricky. However, there are certain criteria that you need to meet, so you can buy your vitamins using HSA or FSA funds.
Let’s take a detailed look and discover what kinds of vitamins and FSA are eligible in the United States in 2023.
What are HSA and FSA Accounts?
Flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health saving accounts (HSA) let individuals save money on their taxes than paying for eligible medical expenses.
Both types of accounts require you to contribute pre-tax dollars. When making a purchase, you can use your FSA or HSA card. You can even submit a receipt of reimbursement later, too, in many cases. However, it is crucial to check with your account custodian and find out the best way to make purchases and get reimbursed for the expenses.
Though FSAs and HSAs together come with tax benefits, they work in different ways. For instance, an FSA is an employer-sponsored account, meaning that your employer sets up the account and determines the maximum contribution, per IRS guidelines.
The amount in your FSA account should be spent within a certain time, as it is not carried forward to the next plan year. In addition, if you leave the employment, you also forfeit your FSA account.
On the other hand, HSAs provide increased flexibility as you own the account completely. You can open an HSA account if you have a high-deductible healthcare plan (HDHP), regardless if you are employed or self-employed. The funds in an HSA account can be rolled over to the next year if not used in the current plan year.
What Makes Vitamins Eligible for FSA?
The IRS Publication 502 decided the eligibility of vitamins for FSA expenses. These guidelines define a qualified medical expense as one that diagnoses, cures, treats or prevents disease.
People use vitamins mainly to provide additional nutrients to their bodies, which may not be possible with regular food. If vitamins are bought for general health purposes, they are not eligible for FSA spending, as per IRS criteria for qualified medical expenses.
However, vitamins tend to serve a dual purpose. They fill nutritional gaps and also treat several medical conditions. So, if you use vitamins to treat a specific disorder or disease, then they are considered eligible for FSA.
Are Vitamins Eligible for FSA?
Experts recommend individuals be careful when buying vitamins using their FSA or HSA as they are not always considered qualified medical expenses, according to IRS guidelines. If your vitamin supplement is not prescribed by a doctor or used to treat a medical condition, you may not likely be eligible for FSA.
Here is a list of some of the most common vitamins and supplements that are usually NOT eligible for FSA (or HSA):
- Centrum Silver Men’s and Women’s (100 Count) Multivitamins
- Alive! Women’s 50+ Multivitamin
- Finest Nutrition D3 Vitamin IU Dietary Supplement Softgels
- Emergen-C Kidz Daily Immune Support Dietary Supplement
- Li’l Critters Kids’ Gummy Vitamins
- Flintstones Sour Gummy Multivitamins for Kids
- Nature Made Vitamin D3 IU Tablets Mega Size
- Nature’s Bounty Vitamin B-12 1000mcg Tablets
- Nature Made Sublingual Vitamin B12 1000 mcg Micro-Lozenges
- Puritan’s Pride Children’s Multi Gummy Vitamin
- One A Day Men’s and Women’s Multivitamins
- Vitafusion B-12 Vitamins
In addition, some vitamins, like prenatal vitamins, are exceptions to the rule. These vitamins are vital for proper fetal development and also help to avoid birth complications.
Some of the most common prenatal vitamins that you can buy over-the-counter in the US, which are eligible for FSA expenses, include:
- Nature Made Prenatal Multivitamin
- Nature’s Bounty Prenatal Multivitamin
- One A Day Prenatal Multivitamin
- OLLY The Essential Prenatal Multivitamin Gummy
- SmartyPants Capsules, Prenatal Formula
- Spring Valley Prenatal Multivitamin for pregnant or nursing women
- Spectrum Essentials Prenatal DHA Softgels for pregnant or nursing women
- Vitafusion Prenatal Gummies
However, to ensure the cost of buying eligible vitamins is covered by your FSA (or HSA), you should request your doctor to write you a prescription for the pharmacy. If you buy your vitamins from Walgreens, FSA Store or HSA Store, you will find a label stating that the vitamin is eligible for FSA or HSA expenses. On the other hand, you should contact your account custodian to confirm if your vitamin qualifies for reimbursement with an FSA or HSA.
Which Vitamins are FSA/HSA Eligible for?
There are only a handful of vitamins and supplements that are eligible for an FSA, which include;
- Prenatal vitamins – That aid in fetal development and ensure a healthy pregnancy
- Glucosamine – These are used to treat thinning cartilage between joints, to treat osteoarthritis
- Chondroitin – These are also used to treat osteoarthritis
You can actually spend your FSA funds on copayments, insurance deductibles, prescription drugs, and medical equipment. You can also use your FSA funds to pay for common OTC medicines, like Tums and Tylenol.
You can pay for these items directly from your FSA card, which acts as a debit card for making FSA-eligible purchases. If you do not have a card, then you can simply submit the purchase receipts to your FSA account administrator and receive the reimbursement from your account.