Employee Benefits

What Can I Use My HSA for in 2024? 

3 min read
Jan 10, 2024

A health savings account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged account that can help you pay for qualified healthcare expenses, while also reducing your taxable income. You can use an HSA to cover eligible medical, vision, and dental expenses for you, your spouse, and eligible dependents.1  

For those with an eligible high-deductible health plan (HDHP), investing in an HSA could be a great way to help pay for current and future medical care. But before committing to an HSA, it’s important to understand what’s a qualified expense and what’s not. 

In addition to more common healthcare expenses — like treatments, emergency room visits, and prescription medications — you may be surprised to learn you can also use your HSA for things like sunscreen, breast pumps, and weight-loss programs.Read on to learn what you can spend your HSA dollars on. 

What are some HSA-covered expenses? 

Here’s an overview of what you can use your HSA for. Be sure to check with your HSA provider or review guidelines set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for more detailed lists. 

Medical expenses 

HSAs can be used for large and small qualified medical expenses. You can use your HSA for ongoing medical services and treatments, like chiropractic care, acupuncture, or physical exams.2 Medical copays, deductibles, and coinsurance can also be covered under an HSA.2

Here are some eligible medical expenses:2

  • Ambulance services
  • Bandages
  • Blood-sugar tests
  • Crutches
  • Gynecologist services
  • Hearing aids and batteries
  • Hospital care
  • Insulin
  • Laboratory fees
  • Medicines prescribed by a doctor
  • Surgery
  • Vaccinations
  • X-rays

Dental expenses

Various dental procedures and services are covered by an HSA. You can use your HSA for routine dental needs, such as cleanings, exams, and X-rays  — even dental surgeries, dental veneers, and orthodontics such as braces are eligible for HSA funding.2 

Here are some other eligible dental expenses:2   

  • Crowns and bridges (for medical, not cosmetic, purposes)
  • Dental plan copays
  • Dental reconstruction
  • Dental sealants 

Vision expenses

Many vision-related items are HSA-qualified, such as laser/LASIK eye surgery, eye exams, and radial keratotomy.2

Here are some other eligible vision expenses:2   

  • Prescription contact lenses and contact solution
  • Eye drops (OTC)
  • Optometrist services
  • Prescription eyeglasses sunglasses 
  • Vision plan coinsurance
  • Vision plan deductible 

Surprising HSA-covered expenses 

In addition to medical, dental, and vision costs, you can also use your HSA to pay for items and services that may not be as easily defined. For example, did you know hand sanitizer, genetic testing, and holistic healer services may all be HSA-qualified expenses?2

Here are some other eligible expenses you may not be aware of:2,3

  • OTC medications and menstrual products: With the expansion of the CARES Act as a result of COVID-19 in 2020, over-the-counter (OTC) medications and menstrual products are now HSA-eligible. This includes products like aspirin and allergy medications, as well as tampons, pads, period underwear, and cups.3
  • Postpartum care: HSAs can be used to offset some of the costs of welcoming a new baby. For example, you can use an HSA for breastfeeding supplies, such as breast milk storage bottles or nursing bras, in addition to breast pumps.
  • Healthcare-related travel: If you have to travel to receive medical care, you can use HSA funds for some of the bills. HSA funds can help cover transportation and lodging expenses while you travel for healthcare services.
  • Family planning: You can use HSA savings to plan for or prevent pregnancy. Birth control, day-after pills, condoms, pregnancy tests, and fertility treatments are all covered with an HSA.
  • Wellness and substance abuse treatments: You can get reimbursed for medical expenses paid to treat alcohol or drug abuse or addiction. Expenses associated with smoking cessation programs and products are also reimbursable. And if you’re going to a weight-loss program to treat a medical illness, as prescribed by a doctor, you can use HSA funds to help cover it. 

Investing your HSA dollars 

Did you know that you can invest your HSA funds? Consider letting your money grow, and then withdrawing it to use on qualifying expenses later in life.

What can’t you use an HSA for? 

It’s important to know which expenses aren’t eligible under an HSA. Spending HSA funds on ineligible expenses can result in penalties and tax consequences.4  

Even if something seems like a medical expense, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s covered under an HSA. For example, nutritional supplements that aren’t prescribed by your doctor aren’t covered.2 Health club memberships and lactose intolerance medications typically aren’t covered either.2

Here are some examples of non-qualified HSA expenses:2  

  • Babysitting or child care (a dependent care FSA can help with child care)
  • Dance or swim lessons (even if recommended by a doctor) 
  • Cosmetic procedures (though some exceptions apply)5
  • Electrolysis 
  • Exercise ball
  • Funeral costs 
  • Hair transplants or removal
  • Household help (even if recommended by a doctor) 
  • Maternity clothes 
  • Personal care and toiletry items (like soap, deodorant, lotion, or dental floss)
  • Teeth whitening 

Help save money with an HSA

Health savings accounts can help you save money on items you may already purchase regularly. And if you don’t have a high-deductible health plan — required for an HSA — another option that may work for you is a flexible spending account (FSA).

Learn about MetLife Health Savings & Spending Accounts 

Designed to help you save

1 “Publication 969 (2022), Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans,” IRS
2 “The Complete HSA Eligibility List,” HSA Store
3 “IRS outlines changes to health care spending available under CARES Act,” IRS, 2020
4 ”How to Invest the Money in Your HSA,” Experian, 20225 “Publication 969 (2022), Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans,” IRS 
5 “Cosmetic Procedures: HSA Eligibility,” HSA Store

Nothing in these materials is intended to apply to a particular individual's financial situation.

This article is intended to provide general information about insurance. It does not describe any MetLife product or feature.