Examples of Qualified Medical Expenses
Although you may access funds in your Health Savings Account to pay for tax-qualified medical expenses, not all tax-qualified expenses are covered benefits under your health insurance. (example: dental treatment and dentures, vision screening and eyeglasses, vitamins and non-prescription medication, etc.) While you may receive a tax benefit on these items, they are not covered by the health insurance plan and do not accumulate toward your annual medical plan deductible.
Here are more eligible medical expenses to be considered. – Acupuncture, Alcoholism treatment, Ambulance, Artificial limbs or prostheses, Artificial teeth, Birth control pills (by prescription), Braces, Breast reconstruction surgery, Car – special hand controls or equipment to accommodate a disabled person, Chiropractor, Christian Science practitioner, Contact lenses and cleaning solutions, Crutches, Dental treatment, Dentures, Dermatologist, Diagnostic devices (blood sugar test kit), Drug addiction treatment, Eyeglasses, Fertility enhancement, Guide dog or assistance animal, Hearing aids and batteries, Home care, Home improvements to accommodate a disabled person, Hospital services, Lab fees, Laser eye surgery, Lead paint removal, Lodging (away from home for prescribed outpatient care), Long-term care premiums (certain limits apply), Long-term care services, Nonprescription medications, Nursing home, Nursing services (including board and meals), Ophthalmologist, Optician, Optometrist, Organ transplant (including donor's expenses), Osteopath, Oxygen and oxygen equipment, Physician services, Podiatrist, Prescription medications, Psychiatric care, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Special home for the mentally retarded, Special school costs for the handicapped, Sterilization, Surgery, Stop-smoking programs (physician prescribed), Telephone or TV equipment to assist the hearing impaired, Therapy, Transportation (primarily for and essential to medical care), Vasectomy, Weight loss programs to treat an existing disease, Wheelchair, X-rays.
Sometimes with even the best PPO plans there will be benefit limitations in certain areas to help avoid run away spending. Think about it, if they don't put a benefit maximum of say 20 physiotherapy visits per person per year, you will get the occasional therapist who, in an attempt to make as much money as possible, will book a patient for 30 – 40 visits when 15 – 20 would have been sufficient. I understand that folks don't want to hear that kind of thing but, this is what drives up those health premiums and makes coverage harder to afford. The money has got to come from somewhere. So at least with an HSA those visits would be deductible.
For some this is the beauty of an HSA over a traditional PPO plan. You have one shared family deductible with an HSA, whereas with a PPO you would have a "2 person family aggregate maximum," or put in layman's terms. Up to 2 people per insured family could encounter a deductible and or a coinsurance maximum depending on their PPO plan. Actually some PPO plans have 3 deductibles per family, but 2 is the industry norm. With a PPO plan you can deduct your premiums but with an HSA you can deduct not only the premiums but also any monies put into the optional HSA account (which can accumulate each year until age 65) and those monies remain tax deductible if the money taken out once deposited is used for medical expenses. I have an HSA currently for my wife and me.