How can I spend down my HSA funds?
October 7, 2019 7:27 PM   Subscribe

I have about $1K in my HSA fund and I need to use at least $500 of it by the end of the year. My family is generally healthy and we have pretty good insurance, so I haven't had to spend much on medical care. What else can I spend these funds on? I'd really like to not lose this money. It was tax-free, but still. Thanks!
posted by Fister Roboto to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Contacts, vaccines (especially travel ones like yellow fever or typhoid)
posted by raccoon409 at 7:29 PM on October 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Things I do:

1. New glasses, contact lenses, and contact lens solution. If you don't have eye insurance, or it doesn't cover your contact lens appointment, you can spend it on eye doctor appointments, too. Some years I have blown my entire HSA on really fancy glasses, which are a ridiculous luxury, but kind of a great ridiculous luxury.

2. Sunscreen. Try a bunch of different sunscreens to see which one you like best. Keep in mind that it has to be labeled sunscreen. You can't use makeup or lotion with SPF in it.

3. You can use it on over-the-counter medications if you have a prescription from your doctor. If there's an over-the-counter medication that you use regularly, ask your doctor for a prescription.

4. Do you have co-pays or co-insurance for anything? If so, you can use it for that.

5. You can use it for insoles for your shoes. They don't have to be fancy orthotics: any insoles are covered (or at least were last time I checked.)
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:31 PM on October 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Do you mean an FSA? You don't need to spend money from an Healthcare Savings Account by the end of the year (or any other date).
posted by jonathanhughes at 7:39 PM on October 7, 2019 [15 favorites]

There are a few websites that exclusively deal with FSA/HSA eligible items - I have used in the past.
posted by Hatashran at 7:42 PM on October 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

Yes, I mean FSA. Sorry for the confusion.
posted by Fister Roboto at 7:43 PM on October 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Nice rx sunglasses, if that applies.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 7:47 PM on October 7, 2019 [6 favorites]

Glasses/sunglasses/contacts, first aid kits, sunscreen, heating pads, braces (like what you support joints with).

Most (all?) therapy is something you can use FSA funds for, so even if you're not feeling like you're in a bad place, you can use it for some mental health checkups.
posted by Candleman at 8:16 PM on October 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Dental co-pays can be high -- might get a dental check-up and make sure you don't need any work done there.

Definitely stock up your medicine cabinet: painkillers, first-aid, whatever. Next year's supply of toothbrushes and toothpaste? (I believe it is covered).

Does yours cover any sort of wearable biometrics like a Fitbit? You could even look into a continuous glucose monitor (Google to see articles about how even non-diabetics can learn a lot from monitoring their glucose).
posted by salvia at 10:44 PM on October 7, 2019

get a rewards card

buy FSA stuff on the rewards card.

submit receipt for FSA-eligible items for reimbursement to your FSA.

voila, you just got 2-5% of your FSA money as regular spendable on anything money.
posted by zippy at 10:46 PM on October 7, 2019 [5 favorites]


Unless they're packaged as part of a first aid kit, most over the counter medications aren't FSA eligible without a prescription.
posted by Candleman at 10:58 PM on October 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

I used mine for acupuncture one year. It didn’t help with my issues (insomnia and back pain) but it was very relaxing and an interesting thing to do. Not something I would have ever paid out of pocket for.
posted by something something at 4:59 AM on October 8, 2019

Yah that’s always new glasses time around here.
posted by spitbull at 5:35 AM on October 8, 2019

Nthing glasses. Also stocks some very good first aid kits, you might buy one for each of your cars and your home - that's good practice anyways.
posted by epanalepsis at 5:52 AM on October 8, 2019

I was told individual psychotherapy but not something like couples therapy when I was turned down because my receipt wasn’t specific enough. So if you go that route, double check.
posted by FencingGal at 5:55 AM on October 8, 2019

A good blood pressure cuff
posted by maxg94 at 6:02 AM on October 8, 2019

Buy a good breast pump and flip it on eBay/CL/FB marketplace for some cash? You won't get 100% back but you'll get spendable cash.
posted by mccxxiii at 6:35 AM on October 8, 2019

When I needed to spend down FSA money quickly, I asked my dentist to put me on the cancel-call list so if they had a cancellation I'd come in on short notice and get work done. YMMV if you actually have no dental issues but I was able to burn through $3K in one month this way.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 6:41 AM on October 8, 2019

I typically stock up on supplies like band aids, Nsaids, etc - as well as vitamins and supplements at GNC.
posted by Sara_NOT_Sarah at 9:39 AM on October 8, 2019

Oh, and glasses. Zenni Optical online is my fav places to spend it.
posted by Sara_NOT_Sarah at 9:39 AM on October 8, 2019

Vitamins and supplements aren't allowed unless they're recommended by a physician for a specific medical condition.

Also, I know someone who decided to stock up on contact lens solution, buying a large amount to use her funds up, and that was not approved.

From the IRS website:
Qualified medical expenses are those expenses that generally would qualify for the medical and dental expenses deduction. These are explained in Pub. 502, Medical and Dental Expenses.
posted by FencingGal at 10:00 AM on October 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

There are various kinds of massage devices that the FSAstore sells, and they're not cheap! Like the Ultimate Foot Circulator or a Pulse electric massage unit. I have personally not tried either of those things, but keep hoping that some year my medical/dental expenses will be low enough to allow me to get one of them, or one of the TENS units.

Also, if you've ever been in the market for one of those medical procedure that your insurance won't pay for (i.e., "cosmetic"), here's your chance!
posted by jasper411 at 4:30 PM on October 8, 2019

FSA Store has an array of first aid kits. Stock up! One for the office, small one for your go-bag, one for the house, one for the car.
posted by Miko at 4:28 AM on October 9, 2019

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