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Is COVID keeping you from the exercise you NEED?

September 17, 2020

Home // News & Updates // Is COVID keeping you from the exercise you NEED?

As much as we want to use our FSA funds to cover our monthly gym membership, it’s not considered a qualifying expense.  However, exercise equipment can be eligible for reimbursement with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). The exercise equipment must be used to treat a specific medical condition in order to be considered eligible for reimbursement under a consumer-directed health care account.  If you have a medical condition, such as obesity, and a doctor requires you to work out, they can create an LMN for your benefits administrator that could allow you to cover these costs with your FSA. Check out this post from  FSAstore for more about these exceptions, and the LMN process.

An example of exercise equipment that could be eligible is a treadmill. A treadmill can be eligible for reimbursement with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) and health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). However, a treadmill is not eligible for reimbursement with a limited purpose flexible spending account (LPFSA) or a dependent care flexible spending account (DCAP).

The IRS states that any expense eligible for reimbursement through an FSA, HSA or HRA must relate to “the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation or treatment of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body.” As such, exercise equipment like treadmills can certainly fall under this definition, but a few major factors need to be considered.

If a doctor recommends a piece of exercise equipment, as a means of treating or preventing a medical condition, the LMN he/she provides must outline how it will be used to alleviate the issue and how long the treatment will last. If the treatment plan exceeds the current plan year, another LMN will have to be provided to the benefits administrator to cover the duration of the treatment.

For a treadmill, or any other piece of exercise equipment, to be eligible for reimbursement, it must be used to treat or prevent a specific disease, including hypertension or obesity. As previously stated, to ensure that the expense will be reimbursed by the IRS, it’s recommended that account holders obtain a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) that can be submitted to a benefits administrator, as well as providing additional documentation for tax purposes.

There are many products related to physical fitness that are available on line and from our partner FSAstore (which can be accessed through this website www.corporatecoveragetpa.net )such as KT Tape, Blood Pressure Monitors, Icy Hot Patches, Biofreeze, etc.  An article from their learning center that does a great job of explaining what is covered can be found Here