Glucosamine: FSA Eligibility

Glucosamine is eligible for reimbursement with flexible spending accounts (FSA), health savings accounts (HSA), and health reimbursement accounts (HRA). They are not eligible for reimbursement with limited care flexible spending accounts (LCFSA) and dependent care flexible spending accounts (DCFSA).

What is glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a natural amino sugar found in the body. As a supplement, glucosamine is most often used to try to ease the joint pain caused by arthritis. In the US, it is one of the most common non-vitamin, non-mineral, dietary supplements used by adults. Companies are not allowed to market any dietary supplement as opposed to a pharmaceutical drug as a treatment for any disease or condition but glucosamine is supposed to support the structure and function of joints and aid people suffering from osteoarthritis.

Why do people take glucosamine?

Glucosamine keeps joints healthy especially in old age as natural glucosamine levels drop as people get older, leading to deterioration of the joint. There's some evidence that glucosamine sulfate supplements help counteract this effect, although experts aren't sure exactly how they work and clinical studies are divided on actual effects.

Glucosamine has also been used for treating rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, allergies, sports injuries, chronic low back pain, etc.

How much and how often should I take glucosamine?

The typical dose of glucosamine used in most studies was 500 milligrams of glucosamine sulfate taken three times a day. Your doctor should give you a more accurate estimate regarding dosage and experts recommend taking glucosamine with meals to prevent an upset stomach.

What are the risks of taking glucosamine?

There are few side effects from taking glucosamine although some may occur at a higher dosage Some side effects include upset stomach, heartburn, drowsiness, and headache. In general, glucosamine is considered to be a safe supplement.

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

Specifically Not Covered

No prescription required.

Legal Information / Regulations

Under IRS '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, supplies and devices.

 


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