Hair Removal: FSA Eligibility

Hair removal is not eligible for reimbursement with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA), health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), limited care flexible spending account (LCFSA) or a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

What is Hair Removal?

Hair removal is a cosmetic medical procedure and are therefore ineligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account. Hair removal may be conducted through a variety of functions including electrolysis, waxing, sugaring, epilation, and threading. Electrolysis is a well-known permanent hair removal technique.

What is electrolysis?

Electrolysis is the act of removing a human hair through the use of a metal probe that does not puncture the skin, but merely enters the hair follicle. The probe delivers electricity to the follicle, causing localized damage that prevents hair regrowth. Various methods of electrolysis cause this damage in different ways.

Electrolysis methods

Galvanic Method

Galvanic electrolysis delivers up to 3 milliamperes of electricity which creates sodium hydroxide at the site of the hair follicle.

Thermolysis Method

Thermolysis hair removal is also known as radio frequency (RF), shortwave or diathermy. The probe is effectively a radio transmitter with an output of up to 8 watts at a specific frequency, which causes RF energy to emanate from the probe tip to the human tissue within about one millimeter. The hair cells are heated to between 118 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, preventing future hair growth.

Blend Method

The advantages of thermolysis and galvanic methods are combined by the "blend" method, which uses both technologies in the metal probe.

Other Hair Removal Techniques

Other hair removal techniques include laser hair removal, threading, sugaring, and waxing. Each method comes with drawbacks and advantages, including expense, time, permanence, appropriateness for different skin and hair types, and environment required for the procedure. Some procedures and techniques will require multiple sessions, but have permanent results, such as laser hair removal.

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

 


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