One smart way to save money: Stashing pre-tax dollars into a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account. You can use the money to pay for many health and medical expenses, while lowering your taxable income — meaning you may pay less, or get more money back, when you file your tax return. Learn more about how these plans work and what they’ll cover when it comes to your sexual health.
What Are FSAs and HSAs?
An FSA is an option offered by many employers, and allows you to have a set percentage of your pretax income withheld from each paycheck. You can use the money to pay for certain medical expenses, either directly (using a special FSA credit card) or by getting reimbursed.
A health savings account (HSA) is very similar to an FSA account in many ways, but are designed for people with high-deductible insurance plans and don’t need to be managed through an employer. Pretax contributions can be made directly through an employee’s company payroll. It’s also possible to make tax-deductible contributions at any time. These contributions are then used to pay for qualified medical expenses.
What Are the Differences Between FSAs and HSAs?
There are a few key differences between FSAs and HSAs, including:
- How much you can contribute: There are different contribution limits for each type of account. As of 2019, the maximum amount that can be contributed to an FSA is $2,700, and the maximum amount that can be contributed to an HSA is $3,500 for individuals and $7,000 for families. You can change how much you contribute to an HSA at any point, but the contributions for FSAs can only be adjusted during open enrollment or due to a change in family status or employment.
- Who can sign up: HSAs are only available to people employed in high-deductible health care plans, while anyone with a health insurance plan can sign up for an FSA if their employer offers it. Self-employed individuals can’t get an FSA, but they may qualify for an HSA if they also have a high-deductible health care plan.
- When you have to use the money: FSA money typically expires at the end of the year or a predefined grace period, and you won’t get a refund for unused funds—though some plans do allow you to rollover a certain amount of money to the following year. HSA money doesn’t expire and rolls over into the next year. In addition, HSA funds are placed in an investment account where they can grow tax-free over time and distributions are tax-free.
Except in cases where employers allow for a “limited purpose” FSA (LPFSA), you cannot have both an HSA and FSA. Keep in mind that an LPFSA can only be used to cover dental and vision care expenses.
Using an FSA or HSA for Sexual Health Expenses
Now that you understand the basics about these health insurance options, you may be wondering what you can use them for. The good news is that most sexual health needs are covered by these plans, including:
- Birth control and other prescribed medications
- Morning-after pill
- Fertility treatment, including in-vitro fertilization
- Physical exams
- Pregnancy tests
- Ovulation predictor tests
- Vasectomy and vasectomy reversal
The funds from an FSA or HSA can be used to cover your own medical expenses as well as those of your spouse and eligible dependents. In general, you can use HSA funds and FSA funds to pay for deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, but they cannot be used to pay insurance premiums. These accounts can also be used for some important medical needs, such as pregnancy tests. Unfortunately, menstrual products like tampons and pads aren’t classified as medical expenses, so you can’t use the pre-tax money in your FSA or HSA to cover them.
Using FSA and HSA Funds
To be reimbursed by your FSA or HSA you’ll need to keep receipts and likely fill out a form. Any medical or health expenses you cover with these funds need to be reported to the IRS, so detailed documentation is a must.
Most healthcare providers are very familiar with FSA and HSA accounts and can help you determine what paperwork you need for proper reimbursement. Your FSA or HSA should reimburse you for Nurx™ care, including out-of-pocket expenses for STI test kits, birth control pills like Lutera and Errin, emergency contraception, or HPV Home Test Kits for cervical cancer screening. Simply submit a receipt to your FSA or HSA for reimbursement.
If you have an FSA, don’t forget to make any necessary expenses before the end of 2019 so you don’t lose the money you stashed away! If you have extra money to spend, shop at FSAstore.com to find things that are pre-screened to be eligible for reimbursement.
This blog provides information about telemedicine, health and related subjects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be construed as a substitute for, medical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or person with a medical concern should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of Nurx™.