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Do wellness and general health expenses qualify as medical care for FSAs, HSAs, HRAs and MSAs?

Posted on April 17, 2024

Seems like every tax prep season, some health companies misrepresent the circumstances under which food and wellness expenses (such as food or supplements for weight loss) qualify for reimbursement when they don’t qualify as medical expenses.”

According to Mike Poynter, Principal CPA at Teipen CPA Group, personal expenses for general health and wellness are not considered medical expenses under IRS tax law.

This means personal expenses are not deductible or reimbursable under health flexible spending arrangements, health savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements or medical savings accounts (FSAs, HSAs, HRAs and MSAs).

Some companies mistakenly claim that notes from doctors based merely on self-reported health information can convert non-medical food, wellness and exercise expenses into medical expenses, BUT — this documentation actually doesn’t quality according to IRS tax code. These types of personal expenses do not qualify as medical expenses.

Teipen CPA Group encourages those with related questions to review frequently asked questions on IRS.gov related to medical expenses about nutrition, wellness and general health to determine whether a food or wellness expense is a deductible medical expense.

IRS.gov provides more information regarding details and requirements for deductibility of medical expenses; taxpayers can also review Can I Deduct My Medical and Dental Expenses? and Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses.