Fuel, Gasoline for Medical Care: FSA Eligibility
How are transportation rates calculated for medical travel?
Each year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues its optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating a car for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. These numbers are issued each year and adjusted annually for inflation, as well as annual studies of fixed and variable costs of operating a vehicle for the aforementioned reasons.
As of January 1, 2016, the standard mileage reimbursement rate for medical travel is 19 cents per mile, down from 23 cents per mile in 2015. While individuals traveling for medical care can request reimbursement of their travel expenses based on this IRS-issued rate, they also have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than the mileage rate itself.
Consumer-directed healthcare account holders can be reimbursed for their medical travel expenses by following the standard mileage rates and submitting documentation to their benefits administrator, or keeping detailed records of all medical vehicle expenses and submitting these as a tax deduction. In this case, a full mileage log, receipts relating to the purchase of fuel and any other charge that is necessary for the individual's medical travel must be kept and submitted. In some cases, these deductions may be more cost-efficient than reimbursement through a consumer-directed healthcare account, so it is up to the account holder to decide which avenue for reimbursement to choose when calculating medical travel expenses (IRS).