Diabetic Supplies: FSA Eligibility

Diabetic Supplies: eligible with a Flexible Savings Account (FSA)
Diabetic supplies such as test strips, monitors, etc. are eligible OTC items that do not require a prescription, although are also eligible when prescribed. Diabetic supplies reimbursement is eligible with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Diabetic supplies reimbursement is not eligible with a limited-purpose flexible spending account (LPFSA) or a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

Under IRC 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.

What are the primary diabetic supplies for patients?

Managing the cost of diabetes care is a difficult undertaking for individuals from all walks of life, as this disease requires careful monitoring, dietary restrictions, regular insulin injections and a commitment to a healthy lifestyle that typically will result in thousands more spent each year on diabetes care as opposed to individuals without the condition. While some diabetic supplies are optional, some are absolutely critical to have on-hand in the event of a medical emergency or to support a daily care regimen. While diabetic supplies are needed on a case by case basis by patients, the vast majority will require the following necessities:

  • Diabetic Monitor: Also known as a blood glucose meter, diabetic monitors come in a variety of styles that utilize everything from common test strips to laser-enabled measurements, all of which should provide accurate readings. These monitors are indispensable to understand how a treatment plan is affecting the body's blood glucose levels, how behavior/medications affect these levels and to identify when these levels have become too high or low (WebMD).
  • Insulin: This hormone is produced naturally in the pancreas that allows the body to use sugar (glucose) from the introduction of carbohydrates and store extra for later use, an ability that is severely inhibited in diabetic patients. Individuals with type 1 diabetes need regular insulin injections to avoid hyperglycemia, while type 2 patients will pursue dietary changes and medication before the ailment progresses to the point when it will require regular insulin (American Association for Clinical Chemistry).
  • Blood glucose test strips: The vast majority of diabetes monitors utilize blood glucose test strips to measure the levels of sugar in the blood, so unless a patient is using a more advanced variant, it's extremely important to always have additional test strips on-hand to measure blood sugar under any circumstance (American Diabetes Association).
  • Glucose tablets: These tablets are important to have an emergency for individuals who are experiencing low blood glucose levels and need a means of quickly raising this level in the blood. Glucose tablets contain simple sugars that are taken orally if the individual's blood glucose level is 10 mg/dl or more below target. These can be ingested repeatedly until the blood sugar level has returned to normal (WebMD).

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