Soap: FSA Eligibility

Soap is not required for the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of a medical condition and therefore 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 soap?

Soap is one of the most common personal hygiene products used throughout the world, and the first evidence of its use was dates back to 2800 BC when soap-like materials were put into production in Ancient Babylon. As personal hygiene standards fluctuated over the centuries, soap came in and out of fashion throughout many cultures, but today soaps are the most common surfactants used for washing, bathing and cleaning.

Soap comes in a variety of forms, but traditionally it consists of the salt of a fatty acid. It is made by treating vegetable or animal oils and fats with a strongly alkaline solution such as lye. These fats and oils hydrolyze into fatty acids, and then combine with the alkali solution to form a crude form of soap. Soap is unique for its ability to allow insoluble particles to become soluble in water, so they can be washed away. The composition of soap will vary widely based on its potential use, as fragrances, anti-bacterial ingredients and other substances may be added to the finished product.

Is soap an eligible medical product?

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. Soap is only considered a product that is used to promote one's "general health" and basic hygiene, so it does not fall under the distinction of being an eligible medical product with consumer-directed healthcare accounts.

Eligibility Table

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Limited Care FSA Dependent Care FSA Health Savings Account (HSA) Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)


Eligible with Rx

Eligible with LMN

Not Eligible


AZ-PROD-WEB02 8/21/2018 1:49:41 PM