How Am I Reimbursed for Immunizations?

This is an annual effort by the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote the worldwide use of vaccines and protect millions of people from all walks of life from disease. While this event has worldwide focus that targets at-risk populations, the advocacy week is also designed to remind everyday Americans like us about the importance of staying up-to-date on regular vaccinations.

If you're enrolled in a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), your benefits will cover the reimbursement of immunization expenses for you and your dependents, whether it's a seasonal flu shot or important vaccinations for hepatitis, measles/mumps and more.

Don't know where to start? Here's how to submit a claim when you or a loved one receives immunizations.

Complete a claim form

The vast majority of benefits administrators will require account holders to submit a claim form to begin the reimbursement process. This form must be completed in full and submitted during your current plan year for full reimbursement of vaccination expenses. Ask your HR department (if you don't know the benefits administrator) or your employee benefits administrator for more details.

Itemized Documentation

When submitting a claim, it's vital to hold onto any purchase receipts, bills, itemized statements or Explanation of Benefits (EOB). However, these receipts must have some description of the product/service being reimbursed, for instance, if you submit a credit card receipt, this would not be sufficient as it does not sufficiently outline the service being offered. Ensure that any receipts include the vendor/doctor's name, contact information for the individual/company who provides the service, the purchase date, a description of the product/service provided and the total amount of the expense.

Incurred vs. date of payment

Last but not least, when submitting claims for FSA/HSA/HRA eligible expenses like immunizations, it's important to note that IRS regulations stipulate that there is a difference between when an expense is paid versus when an expense is "incurred." In the vast majority of cases, expenses reimbursed through your account are based on the date the expense was incurred, not the date the product/service was paid for. Therefore, in the case of immunizations, the date the expense was incurred is the actual date you or a loved one received the vaccination, not when it was charged.

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