Tax Guide

Get answers to all your questions about taxes, personal finance, insurance and more.

FSA Qualifying Expenses

Qualifying expenses for an FSA vary by which of the three FSA types you have.

Health FSAs are the broadest of the three FSAs and offer the most qualifying expenses for reimbursement. Qualifying expenses are the same as those qualifying for the medical expense deduction. You can use a health FSA’s money for any expense not covered by your insurance.

  • Professional services, medical treatments, and laboratory services – Co-pays for your family doctor or specialists (e.g., dermatologists, oncologists, and neurologists) are qualifying expenses. Lamaze and other prenatal classes and services also qualify, as do lab tests.
  • Dental and vision services – Co-pays for dentists, orthodontic specialists, optometrists, and ophthalmologists are qualifying expenses. Eyeglasses, contact lenses, and contact lens solution qualify. Dental and oral surgeries also qualify.
  • Hospital services – If you have inpatient or outpatient surgery or service at a hospital, any fees or expenses may qualify. So do fees for the anesthetist, surgery room fees, and even food if you’re receiving inpatient care.

Limited health FSAs are for people who have an HSA. The IRS doesn’t allow you to have both an HSA and a health FSA, and that’s where the limited health FSA come in. Limited health FSAs cover only dental and vision expenses.

  • Dental – Cleanings, filings, crowns, and other orthodontics are qualifying expenses for a limited health FSA. Over-the-counter denture care products also qualify.
  • Vision – Contact lenses, eyeglasses, and vision correction surgeries and procedures are qualifying expenses. Over-the-counter contact lens solutions and soaks qualify too.

Dependent Care FSAs are specifically for the costs of caring for a child or dependent adult. Expenses for child care facilities – daycare, summer day camps, and babysitters – are qualifying. For an adult dependent, adult daycare and adult care services and facilities qualify.

FSAs and Record-keeping

Unlike HSAs, which have been moving toward using debit cards, an FSA is more likely to simply reimburse you for your expenses. Some employers are moving away from you filing for a reimbursement and giving employees debit cards instead. In either case, it’s still a good habit to keep any receipts or paperwork. Receipts – itemized, if possible – and other paperwork will be necessary if getting reimbursed. You may have to submit statements of services or equipment provided and possibly show that the charge has not been paid for by insurance.

See also:
FSAs and Your Tax Return
Who's Eligible for an FSA?
Withdrawing from an FSA