Lodging for Medical Care: FSA Eligibility
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, supplies and devices. 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, supplies and devices.
What is lodging for medical care?
Lodging for medical care is any expense related to purchasing meals and overnight temporary residence at a hospital or similar institution, so long as the principal reason for staying is to receive medical care.
So long as the lodging is primarily for, and essential to receiving medical care which is being provided by a doctor in a licensed hospital or in a medical care facility related to a licensed hospital, the lodging is eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account.
Lodging expenses from outside of a hospital – at a motel for example – are also eligible, so long as the lodging is not considered lavish or extravagant. There must also not be any significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation as part of the travel during which the lodging expenses are incurred.
Expenses incurred as part of receiving lodging for medical care are eligible up to $50 per night per person. The person for whom the expenses are incurred may be the recipient of medical care, or an accompanying person who is traveling with the recipient. Each person in this case is eligible to have $50 of their nightly lodging expenses considered eligible for reimbursement. Meals are not eligible in this case; meals are only eligible when purchased within a hospital (Internal Revenue Service).
Medical treatment for which lodging away from home requires payment of lodgment expenses must be the sort of medical treatment that is received from a doctor in a licensed hospital or medical care facility. If the lodging isn't primarily for or essential to the medical care received, it's also not eligible. For example, if the treatment occurs at a facility a very close distance from an account holder's home, then lodging would not be considered eligible for reimbursement because of the proximity of the account-holder's home.