Dietary Supplements: FSA Eligibility

Dietary Supplements: reimbursement is not eligible with a Flexible Savings Account (FSA)
Dietary supplements are typically not eligible, unless to treat a specific illness, in which case a letter of medical necessity (LMN) from a medical professional would be required. The IRS observed that sometimes doctors will recommend meal replacements, dietary supplements and special foods as substitutes for foods normally consumed by individuals. Even if the reason is obesity, which can be considered a disease, these items are not reimbursable because they are food substitutes and everyone needs to eat.

Dietary supplements are typically not eligible. However, some dietary supplements may be eligible for reimbursement with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) and health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) from a medical professional. Dietary supplements are not eligible with a limited-purpose flexible spending account (LPFSA) and a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

What are dietary supplements?

Dietary supplements is an umbrella term for a wide range of meal replacements, vitamins and special foods that contain a dietary ingredient meant to add further nutritional value to a patient's diet. These supplements can be found in numerous forms, including tablets, softgels, liquids, powders and capsules. Dietary supplements can consist of countless types of ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, herbs/botanicals, extracts, concentrates, amino acids and much more (National Institutes of Health).

When are dietary supplements eligible for reimbursement?

An important distinction to keep in mind about dietary supplement eligibility is that these products are not designed to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure diseases, a classification that is essential in determining a product or service's eligibility with consumer-directed healthcare accounts.

As such, most dietary supplements are not automatically covered by consumer-directed healthcare accounts, but in some cases they are eligible with a prescription, such as melatonin supplements that are used to regulate sleep cycles. Speak with a benefits administrator for details about claim reimbursement and inquire with a doctor about a LMN to be fully reimbursed for supplements included in a medical treatment plan.