Mineral Supplements: FSA Eligibility
What are mineral supplements?
Mineral supplements refer to any concentrate delivery of minerals that are intended to help treat, alleviate or prevent a medical condition or positively influence the health of an individual such as a woman who is anticipating pregnancy (National Institutes of Health).
Mineral supplements must be prescribed in order to be considered eligible for reimbursement with a consumer directed healthcare account. Mineral supplements are most commonly Over-the-Counter (OTC) items and can be purchased without a prescription, however the prescription will be necessary in order to obtain a reimbursement for the mineral supplement expense.
What type of mineral supplements would a medical professional prescribe?
A medical professional might prescribe calcium for patients who are at risk of osteoporosis. They might also prescribe folic acid for women who are seeing to become pregnant. Another example of a prescribed mineral supplement is iron for patients with chronic anemia.
About calcium, a commonly prescribed mineral supplement:
Calcium is the most plentiful mineral found in the human body and 99 percent of this substance is used to fortify bones and teeth, while the remainder will support normal physiological functions like nerve function, muscle contraction, blood clotting, or maintaining a normal heart beat. However, it is most widely known to support an individual's skeletal structure, as proper levels of calcium over a person's lifetime can significantly reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a medical condition that causes bones to be brittle and fragile from a calcium or vitamin D deficiency (Medical News Today).
Maintaining healthy calcium levels is one of the surest ways to promote one's general health over the course of a lifetime and support myriad normal bodily functions. As such, many medical professionals will recommend calcium supplements to patients who are at an increased risk of osteoporosis (especially women) or who are not ingesting enough of the mineral into their diets daily. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of calcium in adults, as well as the Daily Upper Limit (which could increase health problems due to excessive calcium in the body) is as follows via National Institutes of Health:
Daily Upper Limit
71 and Older
51 and Older
What are the primary dietary sources of calcium?
Aside from calcium supplements, physicians may also advise patients to supplement their diets with calcium-rich foods that can boost their bone health and support a wealth of physiological functions. Most are aware that dairy foods like milk, yogurt and cheese are calcium-rich and are essential in maintaining calcium levels in the body, but they can also be found in a number of other food sources, including collard greens, broccoli/broccoli rabe, kale, edamame, bok choy, figs, oranges, sardines, salmon, almonds, tofu, okra and white beans (MedlinePlus).