X-Ray Fees: FSA Eligibility
Treas. Reg. '1.213-1(e)(1)(ii)
What is an X-ray test?
X-rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation, just like visible light. An X-ray is a quick, painless test that produces images of the structures inside your body, particularly your bones. How it works is an X-ray machine sends beams or particles through your body, which are absorbed in different amounts depending on the density of the material they pass through. Thus denser material such as bone and metal show up as white on X-rays while the air in your lungs show up as black, and fat and muscle are typically shades of grey (Healthline).
For some types of X-ray tests, a contrast medium (special dye used to highlight), such as iodine or barium, is inserted into your body to provide greater detail on the images. The images produced are recorded on a computer or film.
Why would you need to get an X-ray?
There are several reasons for getting an X-ray done. Fractures and infections in bones and teeth show up more clearly on X-rays. X-rays can also reveal evidence of arthritis, cavities, tumors, pneumonia, tuberculosis, etc. A Mammography is a special type of X-ray test used to examine breast tissue for breast cancer. An X-ray can also help to see signs of congestive heart failure, blocked blood vessels, digestive tract problems, swallowed items, and more.
How should you prepare and what should you expect?
An X-ray test is performed in the hospital radiology department or in the health care provider's office. You will be asked to lay still when you are getting an x-ray as motion can cause blurry images. You may need to hold your breath for a second or two when the image is being taken.
X-rays are painless although some body positions needed during an x-ray may be uncomfortable for a short span of time.
To prepare for the test, tell your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or may be, of if you have an IUD inserted. You will need to remove all jewelry and you may need to wear a hospital gown.
Are there any risks involved?
X-rays are monitored and regulated so you that you receive the minimum amount of radiation exposure needed to produce an image. The risk of cancer or defects is very low, and most health experts will say that the benefits of appropriate x-ray imaging greatly outweigh any risks.