One of the many benefits of an FSA is that it covers everyday health care costs, which can range from regular medical checkups to blood pressure monitors. But if you have an FSA, you may be wondering whether or not skin problems fall under standard healthcare expenses covered under your account. In other words, are dermatology treatments eligible expenses with your FSA?
Let's take a look at how skin care ailments are handled with an FSA, so you know what you can and can't pay for when dealing with these problems.
Which dermatology treatments are covered?
It's always important to remember that your FSA covers healthcare treatments that are defined by the IRS as medical care, which refers to health care services that can diagnose, mitigate, prevent, cure, and/or treat an injury, illness, disease, or symptoms of a disease.
Skin care treatments that are designed to alleviate a medical condition are covered with your FSA, including:
- Dermatologist – Standard visits to a dermatologist to treat medical skin conditions are an eligible expense.
- Acne – A condition resulting from oily skin and dead skin cells that causes pimples and bumps to grow on your face, ruining proms and selfies.
- Eczema – An inflammation of the skin that causes you to itch.*
- Psoriasis – A condition that causes skin cells to form scales that are dry and itchy.*
- Rosacea – A condition that causes red bumps on your face, similar to a deep rash.*
But wait, there's more. Believe it or not, even Botox injections – yes, the same Botox that made red carpet interviews so fun these past few decades -- are an eligible expense if your doctor is using it to treat a medical condition such as excessive sweating, overactive bladder, and chronic migraines. This treatment may require a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN), so check with your FSA administrator on what may be required.
Prescription medication and other treatments for these conditions are eligible expenses, but depending on the type of treatment you need, you may have to get a doctor's prescription or an LMN to receive reimbursement for your expenses. But don't worry if you still have questions -- your FSA administrator can tell you whether the skin care treatment you need requires either of the above for reimbursement.
We've barely scratched the surface on the skin care products available to you. Want a quick snapshot of how many skin care products are FSA-eligible? Start here.
Skin treatments that aren't covered with your FSA
Any skin care treatment that's primarily for cosmetic purposes isn't covered by your FSA. These types of treatments are categorized as general health services that aren't considered medical care and not eligible for reimbursement with an FSA.
Examples of general health skin treatments include laser hair removal, facelifts, acid peels, chemical peels, laser resurfacing, and microdermabrasion. While these treatments may provide benefits for your skin, they aren't used primarily to diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure or prevent a medical condition.
Skin care isn't something you may not think about very often (even though you should), but with your FSA, you can schedule regular visits to a dermatologist to make sure that you're screened for something as potentially serious as skin cancer. So continue using sunscreen and other Use FSA-eligible skin care products (hello, light therapy!) to keep your skin healthy and to help maintain your overall health.
FSA-eligible skin care products we love
dpl II Panel Professional Acne Treatment System
Treat your full face, neck, chest, hands and back in just 8 minutes.
Broad Spectrum Sun and Skin Protection
A variety of broad-spectrum sunscreens with SPF15+ protection are FSA-/HSA-eligible!
Don't waste time hunting for ways to spend your tax-free funds. In That's Eligible?!, we'll bring you these updates every Monday, so you don't have to. And for all things flex spending, be sure to check out the rest of our Learning Center, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Did you know that Florida has the highest skin cancer rate in the country? That's why when my family moved to the Sunshine State, I knew it was time to start taking my skin health seriously -- especially this time of year.
You might already know that sunscreen is FSA-eligible. But did you know that trips to the dermatologist, protective lip balm, even some sunscreen/bug spray combos are also on the eligible list? Here's how to form healthy skin care and protection health habits – without skipping the sunshine altogether.
Use sunscreen everyday (no skipping)
I knew it was time to change my skin protection habits when I'd make it a habit to cover my son in sunscreen from head to toe before we went to the park, beach, or zoo – but I'd completely forget to cover myself.
Now, I keep a basket of sunscreen by my front door. Baby sunscreen for him, and sunscreen and protective lip balm for me. We also both usually wear hats when outdoors, which the CDC says can help reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Find the right sunscreen
Sunscreen is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Take advantage of the many FSA-eligible sunscreen options, from mineral sunscreens to quick-drying formulas, even extra-hydrating options.
While some busy parents buy a jumbo bottle of sunscreen and slather it on the whole family, most sunscreens are too strong or irritating for a young child's skin. Experts recommend that kids' sunscreen be SPF30+, have UVA and UVB ray protection, and is water-resistant.
Another reason it's important that you find a sunscreen just right for your little one? Just one blistering sunburn during childhood can nearly double skin cancer rates.
Invest in other types of sun protection
Your sunscreen options aren't just limited to sprays and lotions. Stock up on protective sun clothing for the whole family. Many retailers offer sun shirts, bathing suits and sun hats with SPF50 or higher, offering one more layer between your skin and the sun's damaging rays.
Also worth considering? High-quality sunglasses that offer UV protection for your eyes. Prescription sunglasses are eligible, as long as the lens also provide vision correction. And don't forget about your lips. Protective lip balm is another FSA-eligible way to keep your skin in top shape this summer.
If you want more bang for your buck, try investing in an SPF15+ sunscreen/bug repellent combo. Since bug spray alone isn't covered by your FSA, this is a great chance to kill two birds (er, bugs?) with one stone.
Always turn to the professionals
No, we're not talking about professional sunbathers. One of the most important steps you can take to take care of your skin is to visit your dermatologist at least once a year for a skin cancer screening. During the screening, your doctor will check for changes in size, shape, or color of moles or freckles, or look for other changes in your skin, which could be an early sign of skin cancer.
If the idea of stripping down to your skivvies and letting a stranger inspect your moles at close range doesn't top your to-do list, keep the facts in mind. It might just save your life.
Don't waste time hunting for ways to spend your tax-free funds. In That's Eligible?!, we'll bring you these updates so you don't have to. And for all things flex spending, be sure to check out the rest of our Learning Center, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
As the seasons change, you feel the effects on your skin. A prolonged winter leaves your skin dry, while warmer temperatures ask for sun protection. Good skin care involves maintaining a healthy complexion (which is strongly influenced by proper nutrition and exercise), taking care of imperfections, protecting yourself against harmful UV rays, and even fighting acne and itchy skin.
With your Flexible Spending Account:
1. Visit a dermatologist since it is an FSA-eligible expense. Treatment must be medically necessary to qualify for your FSA.
- Acne treatment at the dermatologist office is covered by your FSA.
- Treatments not covered include acid peels, laser hair removal, and face lifts.
- Botox can be covered if used to treat a medical condition. Check in with your FSA provider if your plan allows it.
Find a dermatologist near you through FSAstore.com Services.
2. Treat your skin with acne medications that are available with a prescription.
3. Soak up the sun with FSA-eligible sunscreen. The arrival of spring and warmer temperatures mean it's even more important to adequately protect your skin.
Bare Republic Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray
This spray offers a layer of physical protection enhanced with antioxidant-rich skincare boosters.
Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Treatment Mask
Harness the power of clinically proven technology to clear acne and allow skin to heal itself.