Swimming Pool: FSA Eligibility
What is a swimming pool?
A swimming pool is a container, enclosure, paved depression or pit filled with water to enable swimming, leisure, and aquatic exercise. A swimming pool may be deemed medically necessary for the treatment of a medical condition by a medical professional and then considered eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account. The medical professional would have to write a letter of medical necessity stating why the swimming pool is necessary for an individual's treatment, and why the swimming pool is the only option, or best option. It is more common, when aquatic exercise or swimming pool rehabilitation are medically necessary, to prescribe these activities in the context of a public pool, gymnasium, or health center.
If an individual pays the expense of a swimming pool's construction and maintenance, the value added to the home of the individual is not reimbursable. Only pool-related expenses above and beyond the value added to the home can be reimbursed with a consumer-directed healthcare account.
It's more common and effective for individuals with medical conditions that require pool activities and swimming to attend a health club or take swimming lessons.
What are swimming lessons?
Swimming lessons are a form of physical education that teaches an individual how to swim. They are considered eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account, if a medical professional has provided a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) stating that swimming lessons are needed for the treatment of a medical condition.
Swimming lessons for general wellbeing are not eligible for reimbursement. An example of a medical condition for which swimming lessons may be considered a form of treatment, and therefore eligible, is a physical disability or physical injury for which rehabilitation in the water is medically preferred. If a medical professional makes the determination that swimming lessons are a necessary form of treatment, they can provide a letter of medical necessity.
Swimming lessons are available for infants, children and adults. Swimming lessons are also often taught in public education institutions, and in many countries a certain level of swimming proficiency is expected by the time of graduation from the public education system. Swim lessons reduce the risk of drowning significantly, and increase confidence in the water. If an individual has trouble staying physically active on land due to an injury or a medical condition, swimming lessons may be an effective way to teach an individual to maintain a level of physical activity, musculoskeletal health, and cardiovascular health. In the United States, the American Red Cross has defined levels of swim proficiency ranging from levels 1 through 6.