Stair Lift: FSA Eligibility

Stair Lift: eligible with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

A stair lift is an eligible expense with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). A stair lift is not eligible with a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA) or a limited care flexible spending account (LCFSA). Benefits administrators may require a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) or other type of documentation to support that this will qualify.

What is a stair lift?

A stair lift is a personal medical home improvement device that is used to help move people up and down stairs to help expand their at-home mobility and help avoid significant injuries that could arise from in-home accidents. Modern variants of these devices utilize rails that are installed along the stairwell, which move the chair up and down the stairs so the users can safely move from one portion of their home to the other. There are many different types of stair lifts available and custom designs can be made to compensate for less conventional architectural features. 

Today’s stair lift traces its history back to the early 20th century to an individual named CC Crispen, who created the “Inclin-ator.” C.C. Crispen. The Pennsylvania native and car dealer was struck with the bright idea after seeing a convalescing friend have significant issues with his ability to move in his own home, and Crispen debuted his invention display in Philadelphia in 1924 to kick off a new era of personal mobility (Easy Climber)

How are stair lifts covered by tax-free funds?

Stair lifts are a unique classification of medical expense in that they are a “capital expenditure,” so additional documentation may be required to ensure that the device’s purpose is inherently medical and won’t enhance the value of the home. This letter must outline how the account holder's medical condition necessitates the installation of a home improvement to land, building or equipment, as well as how long these improvements will last. If additional home improvements will be needed outside of the current plan year, another LMN will need to be submitted for future reimbursement.

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