Air Filter: FSA Eligibility

Air Filter: requires a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) to be eligible with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Air filter reimbursement may be eligible with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) and a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Air filter reimbursement is not eligible with a limited-purpose flexible spending account (LPFSA) or a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

Air filter for general use not eligible.

Air purifiers that are not purchased to treat or alleviate a medical condition and where a Letter of Medical Necessity is not obtained are not eligible.

Treas. Reg. '1.213-1(e)(1)(iii), Private Letter Ruling 8009080

What is an air filter?

Air filters are necessary components in everything from car engines to home air conditioning systems, and they are used to filter out dust, debris, and other particulates from penetrating the inside of a mechanical device and harming its efficient operation. These parts are typically designed with fibrous materials that will catch these particles as they enter the device, but over time, they will need to be replaced to ensure the continued good performance of the appliance it is installed in (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

Additionally, air filters can also fall under the classification of high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA), which is a type of mechanical air filter that utilizes a fine mesh to improve indoor air quality. Individuals with allergies or asthma can have trouble year-round with mold, dust mites, pollen and pet dander inside their homes, but HEPA filters can trap these particulates and improve the overall air quality of the home (WebMD).

When is air filter reimbursement eligible?

For an air filter to be eligible for reimbursement, the primary purpose of the device must be to treat or alleviate a medical condition. To show that the expense is primarily for medical care, a note from a medical practitioner (Letter of Medical Necessity) recommending the item to treat a specific medical condition is normally required. If it is attached to the home (such as central air conditioning), only the amount spent that is more than the value added to the property will qualify. This letter must outline how the air filter will be used to alleviate the issue and how long the treatment will last.

Additionally, if air filters are required to continue the efficient operation of an existing air conditioner or other air quality device, expenses relating to the repair, operation or maintenance of the appliance it's installed in may qualify if mentioned in the original Letter of Medical Necessity that is submitted to a benefits administrator.

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