A flexible spending account (FSA) can help you save money on healthcare expenses for you and your family. For 2024, employees can set aside up to $3,200 for healthcare FSAs, which they can then use on eligible medical expenses.1
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) determines what’s considered an eligible medical expense.2 Read on to see what items and expenses are FSA-eligible and where you can use your FSA dollars.
Note: This article discusses eligible medical expenses for healthcare FSAs. Two other common FSA types, limited purpose FSAs (LP-FSAs) and dependent care FSAs (DC-FSAs), follow different rules, which are explained in our limited purpose FSA and dependent care FSA articles.
Categories of FSA-eligible items
The FSA Store® has a detailed list of eligible items and expenses you can review, which includes a search feature to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.3 While it’s a comprehensive list, not all items may be eligible with every FSA plan. Below is a quick list of some categories of FSA-eligible items and a few examples. Remember to check with your plan administrator to confirm the items are eligible with your FSA before you decide to purchase any products.3
- Home healthcare: Thermometers, pain relief devices, blood pressure monitors, medical alert devices, blood sugar test kits, and more
- Over-the-counter (OTC) medications: For cough, cold, allergies, pain relief, and more
- Baby and child supplies: Breast pumps, baby breathing monitors, children’s pain relievers, and more
- Skin care: Sunscreen, acne products, lip balm with SPF 15 or greater, and more
- Eye care: Contact lenses (with a prescription), eye drops, and more
- Oral care: Tooth pain relief, water flossers (with a letter of medical necessity or LMN), denture cleanser tablets, and more
- Foot care: Orthotics, foot creams, callus and corn removers, and more
- Digestive health: Heartburn relief, antacid tablets, laxatives, and more
- Vitamins: Prenatal, nutritional supplements (with an LMN), multivitamins (with an LMN), and more
- First aid supplies: Bandages, antibiotic ointments, first aid kits, and more
- Sexual health medications and products: OTC and prescription birth control, condoms, erectile dysfunction (ED) medications (with a prescription), fertility tests, and more4
- Menstrual products: Pads, tampons, menstrual underwear, menstrual pain relief, and more
- Incontinence supplies: Pads, underwear, and more
- Smoking cessation: Programs, products, and more
Categories of FSA-eligible expenses
Below is a list of some common expenses that are FSA-eligible.3 Remember to check with your plan administrator to confirm the expense is eligible with your specific FSA.
- Health insurance copayments, office visits, co-insurance payments, and deductibles
- Dental work
- Vision expenses, eyeglasses, and prescription contact lenses
- Therapy and counseling services (may require an LMN; marriage or family counseling is not eligible)
- Chiropractic care and acupuncture
- Hospital fees, surgery, and diagnostic services
- Allergy testing
For even more services you may be able to use your FSA funds toward, check out the search feature of the FSA Store’s comprehensive list of eligible expenses.3
Expenses and items that aren’t FSA-eligible
While healthcare FSA funds can be used toward many expenses, there are some limits. The comprehensive eligibility list also includes items that aren’t eligible.3 Here are a few examples:3
- Adult and child day care (though these are eligible with a dependent care FSA)
- Health insurance premiums5
- Latex gloves
- Weight loss supplements
Where you can buy FSA-eligible items
Typically, you can use your FSA dollars on eligible expenses at places like drug stores, grocery stores, doctor offices, vision centers, dentists, hospitals, and other medical offices.
You can also purchase FSA-approved items online — so you have options depending on what works best for you.6
How to use your FSA funds
Some FSA administrators and plans may issue FSA cards to use for purchases.7 This card acts as a debit card, pulling money from your FSA account. If you have an FSA card, make sure the store or medical office you’re at accepts the card. If you don’t have an FSA card, or the place doesn’t accept them, you can typically pay for the items out of pocket and then submit the required paperwork to your FSA administrator to get reimbursed.5
It’s important to know that no matter how you pay, whatever you’re planning to use your FSA dollars for must be considered an eligible expense.