An HSA lets you put money away for future healthcare costs while saving on taxes. How? HSAs are never taxed at a federal income tax level when used for qualified medical expenses. Contributions can come straight out of your paycheck, and your HSA can grow tax-free too.
You can always view the latest IRS contribution limits at this page.
Now, let’s jump in. Here are 17 awesome ways to spend your HSA and stretch every dollar further.
#1 Over-the-counter (OTC) medications
This is probably among the most popular ways to use your HSA. You can buy cough suppressants, pain relievers, sleep treatment, and more.
#2 Doctor visits
Your HSA can help you pay for all doctor visits and consults before hitting your deductible.
#3 Telemedicine visits
HSAs usually cover telemedicine visits when that virtual meeting replaces an in-person consult.
#4 Healthcare insurance premiums
This is a lesser-known HSA perk. You can use your HSA to pay health plan premiums, COBRA premiums, or even long-term care insurance premiums. These options offer great peace of mind.
#5 Women’s healthcare products
As of 2020, many women’s healthcare and hygiene items—including pads and tampons—were added to the list. Birth control and other contraceptives also count as qualified medical expenses with a prescription.
#6 Dental care
Whether you need a routine dental cleaning, a root canal, or even braces for your middle schooler, your HSA can help you cover out-of-pocket dental expenses.
But be sure to check if your organization offers an HSA-compatible Limited Purpose Flexible Spending Account (LPFSA). Similar to an HSA, this account also lets you make pre-tax payroll contributions to pay for qualified dental and vision expenses.
You can use your LPFSA to pay for annual dental expenses. Then you can save for HSA for healthcare emergencies down the road.
Just remember that LPFSA funds expire, so unused funds will eventually be forfeited back to your employer at the end of the plan year.
#7 Vision care
HSA-qualified medical expenses also cover contacts, optometry visits, eyeglasses, and more.
#8 Transportation for healthcare
Sometimes healthcare needs require travel to another state or another country. In some cases, your HSA can help you pay for those associated transportation expenses, provided you’re traveling only for covered treatment.
The rules are complex on this one, so we encourage you to consult a tax advisor before making any travel plans!
#9 Retirement expenses
You already know that you can take tax-free distributions to pay for qualified medical expenses at any time.
But, did you know that members 65+ are also allowed to take taxable distributions from their HSA to pay for any expense in retirement?2
Want to buy a new boat with your HSA money? You can do it! Just keep in mind that distributions will be taxed as ordinary income, just like a traditional 401(k).
Account growth, however, is always tax free.
#10 Lead-based paint removal
If you live in an older home, lead-based paint removal is very important—especially if you have children. If your provider gives you a Letter of Medical Necessity, you can use your HSA to pay for lead-based paint removal.
Done having kids? Your HSA can cover the costs associated with a vasectomy. Your HSA can also pay to reverse a previous vasectomy procedure.
#12 Smoking cessation
Prescription medications, over-the-counter gum and patches, and smoking cessation programs all count as qualified medical expenses.
#13 Hearing aids
New technologies are making hearing aids more effective, but also more expensive. Help defray the cost by using your HSA.
#14 Eczema cream and lotion
Winter brings dry, hardening skin. Use your HSA to buy hand creams and lotions formulated specifically for eczema.
#15 Gear for nursing moms
No doubt can use your HSA to cover the qualified medical expenses associated with bringing a new bundle of joy into the world. But you can also save money on breast pumps, pads, storage bottles, and more.
From children’s band-aids to fully stocked travel first-aid kits, your HSA can help you be ready for any bump, bruise or emergency, big or small.
#17 Diabetes management
Use your HSA to cover testing equipment, alcohol swabs, needle disposal containers, and more.