A Simple Guide to Using Your HSA/FSA for Vitamins and Supplements

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    HSA/FSAs are tax-advantaged accounts for healthcare spending. But they won’t cover most of your over-the-counter vitamin purchases.

    Which vitamins are HSA and FSA covered?

    If a vitamin is prescribed to you for a specific medical condition, that vitamin may be eligible for HSA/FSA coverage. However, if you’re buying a vitamin over-the-counter to promote general wellness, it’s unlikely that that vitamin will be covered.

    Prenatal vitamins can sometimes be an exception to this rule. Here at Care/of our Prenatal is eligible for FSA/HSA/HRA reimbursement. While these supplements are available over-the-counter and not designed to treat a specific condition, they’re still helpful for the health of pregnant people and fetal development. If you want to have coverage for your prenatal vitamins, it’s still best to get a letter from your healthcare provider.

    Generally, the only other dietary supplements apart from prenatal vitamins that may be covered include glucosamine and chondroitin. Also, some FSA plans may allow certain fiber or electrolyte supplements, usually with a letter of medical necessity.

    You want to be careful when trying to buy vitamins with your FSA or HSA, as they are not always deemed a qualified expense. If your vitamins are not prescribed by a doctor or used to treat a specific condition, your purchase most likely won’t be FSA or HSA-eligible.

    What makes a vitamin eligible?

    A vitamin is eligible for HSA/FSA coverage only if that vitamin has been recommended by a medical professional for the treatment or prevention of a specific disease or condition.

    While prescriptions are not strictly required, it’s a good idea to get your doctor’s recommendation in writing.

    HSA/FSA coverage for prenatal vitamins

    Prenatal vitamins are often covered. You can use your HSA/FSA card for payment or submit a purchase receipt for reimbursement.

    To be safe, your healthcare provider can write you a prescription for prenatal vitamins. You can also find FSA- and HSA-eligible items by checking prenatal vitamin labels. It’s important to contact your account administrator to be sure your purchase qualifies.

    When you need a letter of medical necessity

    There may be times when the HSA or FSA administrator doesn’t automatically approve the vitamins recommended by your doctor. In such cases, you may need to ask your doctor for a letter of medical necessity (LOMN). A LOMN is basically a document that confirms for the HSA/FSA that your vitamin purchase or service is associated with a specific treatment that is medically necessary.

    How to use an HSA to purchase vitamins

    You can either use your HSA card or submit a claim for reimbursement. Check with your HSA guidelines first.

    How to use an FSA to purchase vitamins

    You use an FSA the same way you use an HSA: Use your card to buy the vitamins or submit a claim for reimbursement. Check with the FSA guidelines first.

    The Bottom Line

    FSAs and HSAs both help provide tax savings for health expenses. When it comes to purchasing vitamins, though, they won’t do you much good. For a vitamin to be eligible for HSA/FSA coverage, the vitamin must be prescribed by a doctor to treat a specific medical condition. Your doctor may need to write a letter of medical necessity to establish this. Prenatal vitamins are an exception to this rule; they don’t treat a specific condition, but are typically covered by FSAs and HSAs. Check the guidelines of your HSA/FSA plan to learn more.

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    Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS
    Medical Content Manager
    Dr. Montrond-Correia is a licensed naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). She holds degrees from University of Bridgeport, Georgetown University, and University of Saint Joseph, and supplemented her education with internships in the health and wellness space. She's focused on research, herbal medicine, nutrigenomics, and integrative and functional medicine. She makes time for exercise, artistic activities, and enjoying delicious food.
    Jordana Tobelem, RD
    Freelance Contributor
    Jordana Tobelem is a Registered Dietitian who enjoys helping others become the best versions of themselves through proper nutrition education. Jordana is passionate about promoting lifestyle changes through nutrition, physical activity, and behavior to create a superior quality of life. She uses her experience in the clinical field of dietetics to provide consulting services to an array of healthcare brands and companies. Jordana loves finding the most current research in nutrition to create meaningful content to share with her clients. Jordana has been a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since 2018 and also holds certifications in both Personal Training and Health Coaching.