Support Hose: FSA Eligibility

Support hose is sometimes eligible if the item is being used to treat a medical condition. Only the excess cost is reimbursable, and a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) must indicate that it is medically necessary and the individual would otherwise not have purchase the item "but for" the medical condition. Under these conditions, support hose would be eligible with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Support hose is not eligible with a limited care flexible spending account (LCFSA) or a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

What is support hose?

Support hose, also known as compression hosiery, are elastic garments that are worn around the legs and hips that are designed to improve blood flow in the legs for both practical and medical needs. Support hose is typically used to treat major venous disorders, which refers to chronic conditions caused by veins that have become diseased or abnormal. These disorders can include leg ulcers/skin changes, leg swelling and leg pain, vascular malformations, phlebitis, varicose veins and spider veins and many others. Some physicians may prescribe compression therapy as a means of combating these specific disorders, in tandem with other proven treatments.

Outside of the medical realm, support hose also has real value for individuals who experience long periods of inactivity, as well as those who are constantly on their feet. For instance, compression stockings have been worn for decades by airline pilots who experience long periods of inactivity, and other professions that experience extended periods of sitting have also embraced support as a viable method to increase blood flow, as well as energize and invigorate their legs.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, active individuals have turned to support hose as a means of speeding their recovery from heavy exercise or limiting pain in their legs after being on their feet throughout the day. Nurses and caregivers, waiters/chefs, and other professions that involve high-impact pressure on feet and legs throughout the day have turned to support hose for pain relief, while athletes and long-distance runners are also known to use compression stockings to improve blood flow, limit lactic acid buildup and speed their recovery times.

How do I obtain a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) for support hose?

A Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) from a doctor for compression hosiery is required for reimbursement with most benefits providers to ensure that it is necessary for the treatment of a medical condition. This letter must outline how an account holder's medical condition necessitates a support hose, how the treatment will be used to alleviate the issue and how long the treatment will last. If additional purchases will be made outside the current plan year, another LMN will need to be submitted for reimbursement.

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-WEB01 1/16/2018 11:06:59 AM