Air Purifier: FSA Eligibility

Air Purifier: requires a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) to be eligible with a Flexible Savings Account (FSA)
Air purifiers are eligible for reimbursement with flexible spending accounts (FSA), health savings accounts (HSA), and health reimbursement accounts (HRA) with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN). In order to qualify, the primary purpose of the air purifier must be for treatment, diagnosis, mitigation or cure of a medical condition or disease and the air purifier must not be purchased but for that primary purpose. They are not eligible for reimbursement with dependent care flexible spending accounts and limited-purpose flexible spending accounts (LPFSA).

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

What is an air purifier used for?

An air purifier is a device that aids in the removal of contaminants in the room. These devices are especially beneficial for people allergies or asthma as well as for reducing secondhand tobacco smoke. People also buy air purifiers to improve the indoor air quality in their homes or office since an air purifier cleans out pollutants like dust, pet dander, smoke, pollen, mold spores, etc. With the advancement of air purification technology, air purifiers are also increasingly capable of clearing out a large number of bacteria, virus, and DNA damaging particles (WebMD).

What should you look for when purchasing an air purifier?

The first and most important step is to try to find a product that will allow you to improve your indoor air quality without consuming a ton of energy, as that makes it expensive. You will need to look for an optimum combination of high-filtration efficiency and high airflow, something referred to as the ‘Clean Air Delivery Rate’ or CADR. You will want to find an air purifier with a CADR of at least 300.

The size of your room is another crucial factor because in order to properly clean the air in a room, you will need to exchange the air in the room several times each hour. It is recommended that there be five air exchanges an hour, while two air exchanges can be considered a minimum requirement. Something to consider is that air purifiers on their highest setting will be very loud. Buying an air purifier rated for a larger room will allow you to run it on lower speeds and generate less noise (TIME).

The best air purifiers are those that require no tools to replace the filters and you simply pop out a door to pull out the old filter. Keep in mind that filters can be expensive to replace and a removable filter that can be cleaned may be more practical.