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Air Filter: FSA Eligibility

Air filter reimbursement is eligible with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) from a physician with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) and a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Air filter reimbursement is not eligible with a limited care flexible spending account (LCFSA) or a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

What is an air filter?

Air filters are necessary components in everything from car engines to home air conditioning systems, and they are used to filter out dust, debris, and other particulates from penetrating the inside of a mechanical device and harming its efficient operation. These parts are typically designed with fibrous materials that will catch these particles as they enter the device, but over time, they will need to be replaced to ensure the continued good performance of the appliance it is installed in.

Additionally, air filters can also fall under the classification of high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA), which is a type of mechanical air filter that utilizes a fine mesh to improve indoor air quality. Individuals with allergies or asthma can have trouble year-round with mold, dust mites, pollen and pet dander inside their homes, but HEPA filters can trap these particulates and improve the overall air quality of the home.

When is air filter reimbursement eligible?

For an air filter to be eligible for reimbursement, the primary purpose of the device must be to treat or alleviate a medical condition. To show that the expense is primarily for medical care, a note from a medical practitioner (Letter of Medical Necessity) recommending the item to treat a specific medical condition is normally required. If it is attached to the home (such as central air conditioning), only the amount spent that is more than the value added to the property will qualify. This letter must outline how the air filter will be used to alleviate the issue and how long the treatment will last.

Additionally, if air filters are required to continue the efficient operation of an existing air conditioner or other air quality device, it may qualify as a capital expenditure, or those relating to the repair, operation or maintenance of the appliance it's installed in. These necessary components must be mentioned in the original Letter of Medical Necessity that is submitted to a benefits administrator, and if this expense falls outside the plan year the letter is submitted, another may need to be submitted for full reimbursement.

 
Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Limited Care FSA Dependent Care FSA Health Savings Account (HSA) Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
Eligible
Eligible with Rx
Eligible with LMN
Not Eligible
 
 
Specifically Not Covered

Air filter for general use not eligible.

Air purifiers that are not purchased to treat or alleviate a medical condition and where a Letter of Medical Necessity is not obtained are not eligible.

Legal Information / Regulations

Treas. Reg. '1.213-1(e)(1)(iii), Private Letter Ruling 8009080