What is an HSA?
A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a special type of tax-advantaged account meant to help you save for healthcare expenses for you and your family. HSAs are exclusively offered in connection with High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs). Contributions to your HSA can be made with pre-tax dollars, earnings on the account grow tax-free, and withdrawals for qualified healthcare costs are also tax-free.
Can you use an HSA for pet medical expenses?
The answer is no, you cannot currently use your Health Savings Account to pay for pet medical expenses. Medical expenses that qualify to be covered by an HSA are defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In order to qualify, expenses must be primarily to “diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body.” Pet medical expenses do not qualify and are therefore not eligible to be paid for with your HSA.
What expenses can you not use your HSA for?
The IRS defines the expenses that are not eligible to be paid for with your HSA. These are commonly referred to as “non-qualified medical expenses.” Here is a list of expenses that do not qualify:
- Pets (vet bills, pet food etc.)
- Over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and nutritional supplements
- Cosmetic surgery
- Contact lenses and eye glasses
- House calls or acupuncture
- Illegal procedures or treatments
- Health insurance premiums (including long-term care premiums)
- Weight-loss programs or treatments
Health Savings Accounts are an excellent way to save for future medical expenses, preparing you and your family for the unexpected. Be sure to always check with the IRS to make sure the expense you are paying for is an eligible and qualified expense.