Nebulizer: FSA Eligibility

A nebulizer is an eligible expense with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Nebulizer reimbursement is not eligible with a limited care flexible spending account (LCFSA) or a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

What is a nebulizer?

A nebulizer is a medical device that converts medication in liquid form into a mist so that it can more quickly be absorbed into the bloodstream through the tissue of the lungs. Nebulizer sessions are often referred to as "breathing treatments" and they are the preferred method of delivering asthma medications to infants and small children, as well as anyone who has difficulty using a traditional asthma inhaler to treat their symptoms.

Nebulizers consist of an air compressor, a nebulizer cub, a mask or mouthpiece, compressor tubing and the medication prescribed by a doctor. After the medication and other equipment is in place, once the nebulizer starts misting, the user can place the mouthpiece over his/her mouth and slowly breathe in and out until the medicine is gone. Depending on the dosage, this may take between 5 to 15 minutes to exhaust the medicine completely. While nebulizers are often a better option for those who can't use standard inhalers, having a nebulizer on hand can be a good plan for some asthma sufferers during high risk seasons, as well as avoiding emergency room visits in severe cases.

Nebulizers are available in both home and portable models. The at-home models typically run on electric power from an outlet and are designed to be used while in a seated position. Portable models work by running on batteries or can be plugged into a vehicle's electrical outlet, and they are a great option for individuals who contend with asthma symptoms continually. Both at-home and portable nebulizers cost about the same and are considered "durable medical equipment": and are eligible for reimbursement with consumer-directed healthcare accounts and most insurance policies.

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 and devices.

 


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