Digital Thermometer: FSA Eligibility

Digital Thermometer: eligible with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Digital thermometers are eligible over-the-counter (OTC) items that do not require a prescription for reimbursement with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Digital thermometer reimbursement is not eligible with a limited care flexible spending account (LCFSA) or a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

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How was the thermometer invented?

The thermometer is one of the most vital diagnostic tools used in clinical examination and has evolved by leaps and bounds over the decades to become a fixture in American homes as well as the doctor's office. Historically, the first modern thermometer, or one that could measure temperature with a standardized scale, was invented in 1714 by Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit. The German physicist invented an alcohol thermometer in 1709, developed the mercury device in 1714 and achieved fame in 1724 by inventing his standardized scale of temperature that we still use to this day (ThoughtCo.).

What is a digital thermometer?

Thermometers have come a long way from glass, mercury-filled tools and have evolved into precise diagnostic devices that are invaluable in assessing whether an individual is suffering from a medical condition. One of the most popular is the digital thermometer, which utilizes electronic heat sensors to record body temperature and function in the same way as traditional thermometers by reading body temperature after being placed in the mouth, ear, armpit, forehead or rectum.

Digital thermometers can be used on adults, children and infants, and physicians suggest using rectal thermometers on babies up to 3 months of age or children as old as 3, while oral temperatures are usually reliable from this period onward. Armpit readings are typically the least accurate means of taking a child's temperature, but are preferred by some parents for their ease and degree of comfort in taking temperature readings (Cleveland Clinic).

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Legal Information / Regulations

Under IRC 213(d)(1), "medical care includes amounts paid for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body." This includes medical equipment and devices.

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