Dietary Supplements: FSA Eligibility

Dietary supplements are typically not eligible, unless to treat a specific illness. The IRS observed that sometimes doctors will recommend meal replacements, dietary supplements and special foods as substitutes for foods normally consumed by individuals. Even if the reason is obesity, which can be considered a disease, these items are not reimbursable because they are food substitutes and everyone needs to eat.

Depending on the patient's condition and medical needs, some dietary supplements are eligible with a prescription from a doctor with a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), but they may also be eligible for reimbursement with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) and health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Dietary supplements are not eligible with a limited care flexible spending account (LCFSA) and a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

What are dietary supplements?

Dietary supplements is an umbrella term for a wide range of meal replacements, vitamins and special foods that contain a dietary ingredient meant to add further nutritional value to a patient's diet. These supplements can be found in numerous forms, including tablets, softgels, liquids, powders and capsules. Dietary supplements can consist of countless types of ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, herbs/botanicals, extracts, concentrates, amino acids and much more.

When are dietary supplements eligible for reimbursement?

An important distinction to keep in mind about dietary supplement eligibility is that these products are not designed to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure diseases, a classification that is essential in determining a product or service's eligibility with consumer-directed healthcare accounts. Conversely, dietary supplements are designed to give patients the vital substances that the body needs to function properly, which could in turn help to reduce the likelihood of certain diseases.

As such, most dietary supplements are not automatically covered by consumer-directed healthcare accounts, but in some cases they are eligible with a prescription from a doctor, such as melatonin supplements that are used to regulate sleep cycles. However, the vast majority of dietary supplements will require a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) from a doctor for claim reimbursement. Speak with a benefits administrator for details about claim reimbursement and inquire with a doctor about a LMN to be fully reimbursed for supplements included in a medical treatment plan.

Eligibility Table

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

Additional Information

The IRS observed that sometimes doctors will recommend meal replacements, dietary supplements and special foods as substitutes for foods normally consumed by individuals. Even if the reason is obesity, which can be considered a disease, these items are not reimbursable because they are food substitutes and everyone needs to eat.

Specifically Not Covered

Not eligible without a prescription.

Legal Information / Regulations

Prescription Required. Information Letter (IL) 2009-0209; Notice 2010-59. Information Letter 2007-0037 RS Confirms FSA Rule on Dietary Supplements and Meal Replacements (November 2007)

 


AZ-PROD-WEB01 11/21/2017 9:54:34 AM