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Are diabetic socks eligible for reimbursement with an FSA, HSA, or HRA

Diabetes has been a problem, and gadgets were made to make diabetes more manageable over time. One example is diabetic socks; diabetic socks are designed to keep the feet dry, keep the blood circulation flowing correctly, keep the feet warm, and were specially made without seams that can rub against your skin and cause blisters or more damage to your feet. 

We all need to go to the doctor to get diagnosed and see if our body is healthy. Doctors will recommend the best things we should do and use to improve our health. Diabetic socks may be simple, but it plays an essential role for people with diabetes. Another important thing that we should keep in mind is getting diagnosed. With the help of our savings account, we can get diagnosed. HSA, HRA, and FSA are some of the three savings accounts that focus on medical expenses that a person would need.

Some of us save money in case of medical emergencies, some of us save money for future expenses, some save money because we want to buy something, and some save money in case of medical emergencies. For Healthcare expenses, that's where HSA, HRA, and FSA come in and help you with money that can help you pay for your Healthcare expenses but are these savings accounts eligible for reimbursement of diabetic socks?

This article will learn more about HSA, HRA, and FSA, the pros and cons of having these accounts, what services are qualified by this health insurance, and if these accounts are eligible for reimbursement of diabetic socks. 


THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HSA, HRA, AND FSA

 

Health Saving Account (HSA) 

HSA also stands for Health Saving Account; this is an account made and controlled by an employee or a self-employed person with a high-deductible health policy (HDHP) insurance and is not reimbursed by their HDHP. Most people who have high-deductible health insurance plans have the option of adding an HSA. Family members and employers can contribute to the funds in this account if they want to, but this is an account owned by the employee so that the employee can take this account from job to job. No tax is imposed on contributions to HSA, on the earnings, or on distributions used to pay for qualified medical expenses. 


What expenses are eligible for HSA? 

Tax advantages are allowed when you use your HSA money for qualified medical expenses. These qualified medical expenses include going to the doctors or dentists, prescriptions, MRI's, medical services Like home care, and medical equipment or supplies. You can also use the funds to reimburse yourself for any qualified medical expenses that didn't cover the insurance, and you had to pay out of pocket. Other examples of costs that are eligible for HSA are:

  • Dental care, including cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments, X-rays, fillings, braces, extractions, and dentures
  • Diabetes supplies, such as blood sugar test kits and insulin
  • Diabetes education, including nutrition counseling
  • Long-term-care premiums, up to a qualifying amount based on your age
  • Nursing care, whether provided in your home or a nursing home
  • Medical records fees
  • Medicare premiums if you're 65 or older, excluding Medicare supplemental policies

There are more qualified medical expenses that are eligible for HSA, visit this article to know more about the eligible costs for HSA in 2021- 2022:https://www.fool.com/retirement/plans/hsa/eligible-expenses/ 


Benefits of having HSA

Health Savings Accounts are made pre-tax, the account's growth is tax-free, and withdrawals made for healthcare expenses are also untaxed, but there are other benefits in having HSA.

  • If you contribute to your HSA through your payroll, you can change the deferral rate at any point over the year. 
  • Any unused funds automatically roll over to the next year and can be used again; unlike other plans, you need to use all of your money in a year. If you leave unused funds, this will be automatically gone from your account by the end of the year. 
  • Children can be covered under their parents' insurance even if they get married or do not live with their parents until 26 years of age. 
  • The qualified health fare expenses can be used for other people to like your spouse if they need medical expenses. 
  • You are in control of your insurance plan. 

HEALTH REIMBURSEMENT ARRANGEMENT (HRA) 

HSA also stands for Health Reimbursement Arrangement. Unlike HSA, HRA is made and funded by the employer that reimburses the employee for qualified medical expenses and sometimes has insurance premiums. Some employers give HRA as part of health insurance benefits and sometimes come with HDHP. Employers can claim a tax deduction for the reimbursements they make throughout the year. Another difference of HRA is that; once the employee leaves the company, they will lose the benefit of having an HRA because the employer funds an HRA. 


What expenses are eligible for HRA?

Your employer determines which medical expenses are eligible under your HRA. Still, if you are an employee, you can use your HRA to pay for qualified medical, dental, or vision expenses for yourself. Here are some of the medical costs that your employee might put under your HRA:

  • Coinsurance and deductible expenses.
  • Dental care
  • Vision care
  • Specialists or alternative medicine
  • Prescription drugs and OTC (Over The Counter) items

To learn more about these qualified medical expenses, check out this article about the eligible cost under HRA: https://www.benefitresource.com/blog/understanding-hra-eligible-expenses/.



What are the benefits of having HRA for the employer and the employee?

For the employers:

  • Employers choose how much they would want to contribute or put in the insurance plan; they control the amount and benefits of HRA. 
  • The employers' contributions are 100% tax-deductible, or tax-free. 
  • As the sponsor and contributor, the employer can choose the best design plan that will fit the needs of its workforce. 
  • Employers do not pay on covered expenses not until a claim is filed, reducing the potential for benefit fraud. 

For the employers:

  • Suppose an employee is offered an HRA with an HDHP. In that case, lower premiums can result in reduced Healthcare costs, and HRA funds can pay for deductibles, coinsurance, co-payments, and prescriptions, among other out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, depending on HRA plan details.
  • Employees have a more excellent choice over their healthcare decisions and can use the funds that are available in the plan to cover eligible out-of-pocket medical expenses. 
  • The employer's contributions to the plan do not count towards the employee's gross income. 
  • When an employee files a claim for qualified medical expenses, these expenses are tax-free. 

FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNT (FSA) 

FSA also stands for Flexible Spending Account and is sometimes called Flexible Spending Arrangements like HRA and HSA. FSA is also a savings account. It is like HRA that reimburses you money for qualified medical expenses. FSA lets you contribute a portion of your regular earnings, but this will be deducted from payments, and employers can contribute to your savings account. Unlike HSA, FSA account holders are only given specific tax advantages. This is an account meant to be used to reimburse medical expenses, and the money in an FSA must be used by the end of the year. Still, employers can offer a grace period which means they can make extensions for the funds to use it for more extended periods.


What expenses are eligible for FSA?

Like HSA and HRA, eligible expenses included are medical, dental, vision, and pharmacy expenses. Here are other qualified medical expenses that FSA can cover:

  • Asthma medicines or treatments (over-the-counter)
  • Birth control (prescription or other)
  • Blood pressure monitor
  • Cholesterol test kits and supplies
  • Diabetic monitors, test kits, strips, and supplies

To learn more about the qualified medical expenses under FSA, check out this article about the eligible costs under HRA: https://www.wageworks.com/takecare-mygracefsa/healthcare-fsa-grace-period-overview/eligible-expenses/.


What are the benefits of having HSA? 

  • FSA helps you pay for essential things, like medical, vision, and dental health care, but with FSA, you get to pay for all of these things tax-free and other medical expenses that are eligible under an FSA. There are hundreds of qualified expenses that you will get tax-free with an FSA. 
  • With FSA, you may even have a "grace period" or more extended periods to use the unspent funds in your account. You may also roll over any unused funds to the next year up to $500.
  • An FSA account holder also can contribute to a dependent FSA, which can cover for medical expenses of a child or an independent adult. 
  • The FSA funds can also be used for yourself, your spouse, or dependents. You can be sure that the funds will be used properly, and you won't waste a dime. 

ARE DIABETIC SOCKS ELIGIBLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT IN HSA, HRA, AND FSA? 

To answer your question, if HRA, HSA, and FSA can reimburse money for diabetic socks, the answer is yes. HSA, HRA, and FSA let you reimburse money for "qualified medical expenses," and under these expenses are diabetic supplies, kits, strips, monitors, blood sugar testing, needles, syringes, and glucose tablets. Everything on the diabetes care page is eligible for the three health care accounts. 

Diabetic socks are not eligible for reimbursement with a limited-purpose Flexible Spending account or LPFSA or a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account or DCFSA. Unlike FSA, limited-purpose FSA is a more restrictive version of standard FSA, so some are eligible under FSA but not eligible in LPFSA. LPFSA covers payment for dental and vision care. At the same time, DCFSA covers and focuses more on childcare expenses and dependent adults that live in their homes, including spouses and parents. 

Whether an individual is suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes or even poor blood circulation and neuropathy (nerve damage), these complications can lead to skin ulcers and affect more parts of your body. Amputation can also be an option in some cases if the damage cannot be managed with capsules, creams, or diabetic supplies. With the help of diabetic socks and other diabetic supplies, the need for amputation has decreased. Diabetic socks play a critical part in healing and protecting diabetic feet. With proper care and management, further complications in your feet can be prevented. 


Other prime examples of diabetic supplies:

  • Diabetic Monitor - also known as a blood glucose meter. A diabetic monitor helps you track the sugar in your body if it becomes too high or low. These monitors also help identify how a treatment plan is affecting your body. 
  • Insulin is a hormone our body produces to keep our blood glucose levels within the normal range. Injections called "insulin shots" are injected into your body to help regulate your blood sugar level. 
  • Blood glucose test strips - These are strips that test the blood sugar in your body and identify if the glucose in your body is too high or low and keep your glucose under control. Test strips monitor your blood sugar, like a diabetic monitor, but diabetic monitors are devices. 
  • Glucose tablets - these are tablets taken orally that contain sugar. If your blood sugar is running too low, you can take this tablet to keep your blood sugar back to normal; this will help raise your blood sugar level. 

These are some diabetic supplies that play a critical part when a person has diabetes. Diabetic socks may only be simple socks, but this simple sock helps you control and keep your feet from dirt and further damage. Also, keep in mind to use your health savings account like HSA, HRA, and FSA to their full extent. Being professionally diagnosed is essential, so use the funds that you have in your accounts as much as possible for yourself, your spouse, and other family members.

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