Frequently Asked Questions

HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT FAQS

The Key Differences Between Medi-Share and Samaritan Ministries | My Loss is Your Gain
Visit the VSP website at www. Please check your eligibility. All dependents you claim on your tax return. Anyone else with either Medi-Share or Samaritan Ministries and you want to chime in on the differences? A multiple support agreement is used when two or more people provide more than half of a person's support, but no one alone provides more than half.

QUESTIONS ABOUT CHANGING YOUR BENEFIT ELECTIONS

Not All High Deductible Plans Are HSA Eligible

Apparently, when I updated my address online a few months ago, no one caught that I had a Montana address. To their credit, they will be refunding me for the last two months worth of sharing. With that one brief phone call, I joined the ranks of the uninsured. Yes, only a few days after Obama and his crew made it illegal. However, when I found myself and my family without insurance, the first thing I did was Google Samaritan Ministries , and I visited ehealthinsurance. I'm working with a church, and I'm the only minister on staff.

As such, I'm treated as self-employed and required to track down my own health insurance just as any other self-employed individual. I spent a good part of the afternoon on Thursday trying to determine the major differences between Medi-Share and Samaritan Ministries. With Medi-Share, all payments are sent to Medi-Share, and then they sort through all the claims and make payments. However, with Samaritan Ministries, you pay your monthly amount directly to another family.

Every month, you get a name and address of another participant, and your money is sent directly to that individual. With Medi-Share, some medical organizations will directly bill Medi-Share and only send you a bill if there is anything left unpaid.

Again, the payments will come directly from other households so your checks will slowly come in over a period of a few weeks. With Samaritan Ministries, I would have been eligible for sharing on that medical event. As such, this could work out beneficially for us????

However, our situation necessitated the change. Anyone else with either Medi-Share or Samaritan Ministries and you want to chime in on the differences? Learn more about Craig and this blog. Craig is an full-time minister, author, blogger, and speaker who lives in Montana.

In his seminar, Transforming Your Financial Diet he teaches Christians about simple and generous living. He also blogs at Help Me Travel Cheap. Fortunately we had lots of time to compare and shop around. I have worked in healthcare for over 20 years the last 9 of them as a billing manager for a physicians office. Some traditional insurance will carry a deductible over if the care is for the same problem but the high deductible plans are not allowed to do this.

One of the things that I considered a drawback with Medi-Share was their alignment with the insurance wrap networks. This does make Medi-Share seem somewhat easier to use but the drawback is the pre-negotiated rates. With both plans you are technically a private pay patient but by filing the claim the provider is agreeing to the discount with that network. If the provider offers a prompt pay discount this could actually be more than the network discount. With both plans if you have any pre-existing conditions I would ask lots of questions before changing but if you are going from being uninsured to medical sharing you just have to remember that for those problems you are still basically uninsured.

Karen, Thanks for the information. I found it especially helpful hearing about why you decided to join Samaritan Ministries. I found your discussion about pre-negotiate rates very interesting. John, Thanks for helping bring some clarity to the subject. But certainly verifying anything you read online is highly recommended.

At that point it may take a month or two until you receive all the payments. Yeah, when we signed up for Medi-Share 2. From what I heard, I believe the pastor did not disclose a pre-existing heart condition which should have been done on the application and so his heart attack was not make eligible for sharing; the pastor fought it, including getting MS thrown out of Montana- this was my understanding which could be wrong.

Maybe some Samaritans folks can chime in that have experienced five or six digit bills and how they were handled. Save to Share helps out with needs that exceed that amount, potentially up into the millions.

Todd, I hear what your saying. Based on my research there are advocate groups that will help negotiate hospital charges if that was absolutely necessary. Ok Craig and John sounds good.

Amounts paid to buy and install special plumbing fixtures for a person with a disability, mainly for medical reasons, in a rented house are medical expenses. John has arthritis and a heart condition. He can't climb stairs or get into a bathtub. On his doctor's advice, he installs a bathroom with a shower stall on the first floor of his two-story rented house.

The landlord didn't pay any of the cost of buying and installing the special plumbing and didn't lower the rent. John can include in medical expenses the entire amount he paid. You can include in medical expenses the cost of special hand controls and other special equipment installed in a car for the use of a person with a disability. You can include in medical expenses the difference between the cost of a regular car and a car specially designed to hold a wheelchair.

The includible costs of using a car for medical reasons are explained under Transportation , later. You can include in medical expenses fees you pay to Christian Science practitioners for medical care. You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for contact lenses needed for medical reasons. You can also include the cost of equipment and materials required for using contact lenses, such as saline solution and enzyme cleaner.

See Eyeglasses and Eye Surgery , later. You can include in medical expenses the amounts you pay for the prevention and alleviation of dental disease. Preventive treatment includes the services of a dental hygienist or dentist for such procedures as teeth cleaning, the application of sealants, and fluoride treatments to prevent tooth decay. Treatment to alleviate dental disease includes services of a dentist for procedures such as X-rays, fillings, braces, extractions, dentures, and other dental ailments.

You can include in medical expenses the cost of devices used in diagnosing and treating illness and disease. You have diabetes and use a blood sugar test kit to monitor your blood sugar level. You can include the cost of the blood sugar test kit in your medical expenses.

You can choose to apply them either way as long as you don't use the same expenses to claim both a credit and a medical expense deduction. You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for an inpatient's treatment at a therapeutic center for drug addiction. This includes meals and lodging at the center during treatment. See Medicines , later. You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for eyeglasses and contact lenses needed for medical reasons.

See Contact Lenses , earlier, for more information. You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for eye surgery to treat defective vision, such as laser eye surgery or radial keratotomy. You can include in medical expenses the cost of the following procedures to overcome an inability to have children. Procedures such as in vitro fertilization including temporary storage of eggs or sperm. Surgery, including an operation to reverse prior surgery that prevented the person operated on from having children.

See Lifetime Care—Advance Payments , later. You can include in medical expenses the costs of buying, training, and maintaining a guide dog or other service animal to assist a visually impaired or hearing disabled person, or a person with other physical disabilities.

In general, this includes any costs, such as food, grooming, and veterinary care, incurred in maintaining the health and vitality of the service animal so that it may perform its duties.

You can include in medical expenses fees you pay for treatment at a health institute only if the treatment is prescribed by a physician and the physician issues a statement that the treatment is necessary to alleviate a physical or mental disability or illness of the individual receiving the treatment.

You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay to entitle you, your spouse, or a dependent to receive medical care from an HMO. These amounts are treated as medical insurance premiums. See Insurance Premiums , later. You can include in medical expenses the cost of a hearing aid and batteries, repairs, and maintenance needed to operate it.

See Nursing Services , later. See Capital Expenses , earlier. You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for the cost of inpatient care at a hospital or similar institution if a principal reason for being there is to receive medical care. This includes amounts paid for meals and lodging. Also see Lodging , later.

You can include in medical expenses insurance premiums you pay for policies that cover medical care. You can't include in medical expenses insurance premiums that were paid and for which you are claiming a credit or deduction. Medical care policies can provide payment for treatment that includes:. Long-term care subject to additional limitations. If you have a policy that provides payments for other than medical care, you can include the premiums for the medical care part of the policy if the charge for the medical part is reasonable.

The cost of the medical part must be separately stated in the insurance contract or given to you in a separate statement. When figuring the amount of insurance premiums you can deduct on Schedule A, don't include any of the following. Any qualified health insurance coverage premiums you paid to "U.

Treasury—HCTC" for eligible coverage months for which you received the benefit of the advance monthly payment program, or. If advance payments of the premium tax credit were made or you are eligible for both the premium tax credit and the HCTC and elect to take the HCTC, see the Instructions for Form to see how to figure your credit. Don't include in your medical and dental expenses any insurance premiums paid by an employer-sponsored health insurance plan unless the premiums are included on your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.

Also, don't include any other medical and dental expenses paid by the plan unless the amount paid is included on your Form W Your share of the FEHB premium is paid by making a pre-tax reduction in your salary. Because you are an employee whose insurance premiums are paid with money that is never included in your gross income, you can't deduct the premiums paid with that money.

Contributions made by your employer to provide coverage for qualified long-term care services under a flexible spending or similar arrangement must be included in your income. This amount will be reported as wages on your Form W If you are a retired public safety officer, don't include as medical expenses any health or long-term care insurance premiums that you elected to have paid with tax-free distributions from a retirement plan.

This applies only to distributions that would otherwise be included in income. If you have medical expenses that are reimbursed by a health reimbursement arrangement, you can't include those expenses in your medical expenses. This is because an HRA is funded solely by the employer.

If you are covered under social security or if you are a government employee who paid Medicare tax , you are enrolled in Medicare A. The payroll tax paid for Medicare A isn't a medical expense. If you aren't covered under social security or weren't a government employee who paid Medicare tax , you can voluntarily enroll in Medicare A.

In this situation you can include the premiums you paid for Medicare A as a medical expense. Medicare B is a supplemental medical insurance. Premiums you pay for Medicare B are a medical expense. Check the information you received from the Social Security Administration to find out your premium. Medicare D is a voluntary prescription drug insurance program for persons with Medicare A or B.

You can include as a medical expense premiums you pay for Medicare D. Premiums you pay before you are age 65 for insurance for medical care for yourself, your spouse, or your dependents after you reach age 65 are medical care expenses in the year paid if they are:. You must include in gross income cash payments you receive at the time of retirement for unused sick leave.

You also must include in gross income the value of unused sick leave that, at your option, your employer applies to the cost of your continuing participation in your employer's health plan after you retire. You can include this cost of continuing participation in the health plan as a medical expense. If you participate in a health plan where your employer automatically applies the value of unused sick leave to the cost of your continuing participation in the health plan and you don't have the option to receive cash , don't include the value of the unused sick leave in gross income.

You can't include this cost of continuing participation in that health plan as a medical expense. Policies that pay you a guaranteed amount each week for a stated number of weeks if you are hospitalized for sickness or injury,. The part of your car insurance that provides medical insurance coverage for all persons injured in or by your car because the part of the premium providing insurance for you, your spouse, and your dependents isn't stated separately from the part of the premium providing insurance for medical care for others, or.

Health or long-term care insurance if you elected to pay these premiums with tax-free distributions from a retirement plan made directly to the insurance provider and these distributions would otherwise have been included in income. Generally, you can't deduct any additional premium you pay as the result of including on your policy someone who isn't your spouse or dependent, even if that person is your child under age However, you can deduct the additional premium if that person is: Your child whom you don't claim as a dependent because of the rules for children of divorced or separated parents,.

Any person you could have claimed as a dependent except that you, or your spouse if filing jointly, can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return. Also, if you had family coverage when you added this individual to your policy and your premiums didn't increase, you can enter on Schedule A Form the full amount of your medical and dental insurance premiums. You can include in medical expenses the cost of keeping a person who is intellectually and developmentally disabled in a special home, not the home of a relative, on the recommendation of a psychiatrist to help the person adjust from life in a mental hospital to community living.

You can include in medical expenses the amounts you pay for laboratory fees that are part of medical care. See Breast Pumps and Supplies , earlier. You can include in medical expenses the cost of removing lead-based paints from surfaces in your home to prevent a child who has or had lead poisoning from eating the paint.

These surfaces must be in poor repair peeling or cracking or within the child's reach. The cost of repainting the scraped area isn't a medical expense.

If, instead of removing the paint, you cover the area with wallboard or paneling, treat these items as capital expenses. Don't include the cost of painting the wallboard as a medical expense.

See Special Education , later. You can include in medical expenses legal fees you paid that are necessary to authorize treatment for mental illness. However, you can't include in medical expenses fees for the management of a guardianship estate, fees for conducting the affairs of the person being treated, or other fees that aren't necessary for medical care.

You can include in medical expenses a part of a life-care fee or "founder's fee" you pay either monthly or as a lump sum under an agreement with a retirement home. The part of the payment you include is the amount properly allocable to medical care. The agreement must require that you pay a specific fee as a condition for the home's promise to provide lifetime care that includes medical care.

You can use a statement from the retirement home to prove the amount properly allocable to medical care. The statement must be based either on the home's prior experience or on information from a comparable home. You can include in medical expenses advance payments to a private institution for lifetime care, treatment, and training of your physically or mentally impaired child upon your death or when you become unable to provide care.

The payments must be a condition for the institution's future acceptance of your child and must not be refundable. Generally, you can't include in medical expenses current payments for medical care including medical insurance to be provided substantially beyond the end of the year. This rule doesn't apply in situations where the future care is purchased in connection with obtaining lifetime care of the type described earlier.

You can include in medical expenses the cost of meals and lodging at a hospital or similar institution if a principal reason for being there is to receive medical care. See Nursing Home , later.

You may be able to include in medical expenses the cost of lodging not provided in a hospital or similar institution. You can include the cost of such lodging while away from home if all of the following requirements are met. The medical care is provided by a doctor in a licensed hospital or in a medical care facility related to, or the equivalent of, a licensed hospital. There is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel away from home. You can include lodging for a person traveling with the person receiving the medical care.

Don't include the cost of lodging while away from home for medical treatment if that treatment isn't received from a doctor in a licensed hospital or in a medical care facility related to, or the equivalent of, a licensed hospital or if that lodging isn't primarily for or essential to the medical care received. You can include in medical expenses amounts paid for qualified long-term care services and premiums paid for qualified long-term care insurance contracts.

Qualified long-term care services are necessary diagnostic, preventive, therapeutic, curing, treating, mitigating, rehabilitative services, and maintenance and personal care services defined later that are:. An individual is chronically ill if, within the previous 12 months, a licensed health care practitioner has certified that the individual meets either of the following descriptions.

He or she is unable to perform at least two activities of daily living without substantial assistance from another individual for at least 90 days, due to a loss of functional capacity.

Activities of daily living are eating, toileting, transferring, bathing, dressing, and continence. He or she requires substantial supervision to be protected from threats to health and safety due to severe cognitive impairment.

Maintenance or personal care services is care which has as its primary purpose the providing of a chronically ill individual with needed assistance with his or her disabilities including protection from threats to health and safety due to severe cognitive impairment. A qualified long-term care insurance contract is an insurance contract that provides only coverage of qualified long-term care services. Not provide for a cash surrender value or other money that can be paid, assigned, pledged, or borrowed,.

Provide that refunds, other than refunds on the death of the insured or complete surrender or cancellation of the contract, and dividends under the contract must be used only to reduce future premiums or increase future benefits, and. Generally not pay or reimburse expenses incurred for services or items that would be reimbursed under Medicare, except where Medicare is a secondary payer, or the contract makes per diem or other periodic payments without regard to expenses.

The amount of qualified long-term care premiums you can include is limited. You can include the following as medical expenses on Schedule A Form Also, if you are an eligible retired public safety officer, you can't include premiums for long-term care insurance if you elected to pay these premiums with tax-free distributions from a qualified retirement plan made directly to the insurance provider and these distributions would otherwise have been included in your income. You can include in medical expenses the cost of meals at a hospital or similar institution if a principal reason for being there is to get medical care.

You can't include in medical expenses the cost of meals that aren't part of inpatient care. You can include in medical expenses amounts paid for admission and transportation to a medical conference if the medical conference concerns the chronic illness of yourself, your spouse, or your dependent. The costs of the medical conference must be primarily for and necessary to the medical care of you, your spouse, or your dependent.

The majority of the time spent at the conference must be spent attending sessions on medical information. The cost of meals and lodging while attending the conference isn't deductible as a medical expense.

You can include in medical expenses amounts paid to a plan that keeps medical information in a computer data bank and retrieves and furnishes the information upon request to an attending physician. You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for prescribed medicines and drugs. A prescribed drug is one that requires a prescription by a doctor for its use by an individual.

You can also include amounts you pay for insulin. Except for insulin, you can't include in medical expenses amounts you pay for a drug that isn't prescribed. You can include in medical expenses the cost of medical care in a nursing home, home for the aged, or similar institution, for yourself, your spouse, or your dependents.

This includes the cost of meals and lodging in the home if a principal reason for being there is to get medical care. Don't include the cost of meals and lodging if the reason for being in the home is personal. You can, however, include in medical expenses the part of the cost that is for medical or nursing care.

You can include in medical expenses wages and other amounts you pay for nursing services. The services need not be performed by a nurse as long as the services are of a kind generally performed by a nurse. This includes services connected with caring for the patient's condition, such as giving medication or changing dressings, as well as bathing and grooming the patient.

These services can be provided in your home or another care facility. Generally, only the amount spent for nursing services is a medical expense. If the attendant also provides personal and household services, amounts paid to the attendant must be divided between the time spent performing household and personal services and the time spent for nursing services. However, certain maintenance or personal care services provided for qualified long-term care can be included in medical expenses.

See Maintenance and personal care services under Long-Term Care , earlier. Additionally, certain expenses for household services or for the care of a qualifying individual incurred to allow you to work may qualify for the child and dependent care credit. You can also include in medical expenses part of the amount you pay for that attendant's meals.

Divide the food expense among the household members to find the cost of the attendant's food. Then divide that cost in the same manner as in the preceding paragraph. If you had to pay additional amounts for household upkeep because of the attendant, you can include the extra amounts with your medical expenses.

This includes extra rent or utilities you pay because you moved to a larger apartment to provide space for the attendant. You can include as a medical expense social security tax, FUTA, Medicare tax, and state employment taxes you pay for an attendant who provides medical care.

If the attendant also provides personal and household services, you can include as a medical expense only the amount of employment taxes paid for medical services as explained earlier.

For information on employment tax responsibilities of household employers, see Pub. You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for legal operations that aren't for unnecessary cosmetic surgery.

See Eyeglasses , earlier. See Transplants , later. You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for oxygen and oxygen equipment to relieve breathing problems caused by a medical condition. You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for an annual physical examination and diagnostic tests by a physician.

You don't have to be ill at the time of the examination. You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay to purchase a pregnancy test kit to determine if you are pregnant. You can't include in medical expenses the amount of health insurance premiums paid by or through the premium tax credit. You also can't include in medical expenses any amount of advance payments of the premium tax credit made that you did not have to pay back.

However, any amount of advance payments of the premium tax credit that you did have to pay back can be included in medical expenses. Amy is under age 65 and unmarried. You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for psychiatric care. This includes the cost of supporting a mentally ill dependent at a specially equipped medical center where the dependent receives medical care.

See Psychoanalysis , next, and Transportation , later. You can include in medical expenses payments for psychoanalysis. However, you can't include payments for psychoanalysis that is part of required training to be a psychoanalyst. You can include in medical expenses fees you pay on a doctor's recommendation for a child's tutoring by a teacher who is specially trained and qualified to work with children who have learning disabilities caused by mental or physical impairments, including nervous system disorders.

You can include in medical expenses the cost tuition, meals, and lodging of attending a school that furnishes special education to help a child to overcome learning disabilities. For expenses to be deductible, a doctor must recommend that the child attend the school.

Overcoming the learning disabilities must be a principal reason for attending the school, and any ordinary education received must be incidental to the special education provided.

You can't include in medical expenses the cost of sending a child with behavioral problems to a school where the course of study and the disciplinary methods have a beneficial effect on the child's attitude if the availability of medical care in the school isn't a principal reason for sending the student there. You can include in medical expenses the cost of a legal sterilization a legally performed operation to make a person unable to have children.

Also see Vasectomy , later. You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for a program to stop smoking. However, you can't include in medical expenses amounts you pay for drugs that don't require a prescription, such as nicotine gum or patches, that are designed to help stop smoking. See Operations , earlier. You can include in medical expenses the cost of special telephone equipment that lets a person who is deaf, hard of hearing, or has a speech disability communicate over a regular telephone.

You can also include the cost of repairing the equipment. You can include in medical expenses the cost of equipment that displays the audio part of television programs as subtitles for persons with a hearing disability. This may be the cost of an adapter that attaches to a regular set. It also may be the part of the cost of a specially equipped television that exceeds the cost of the same model regular television set. You can include in medical expenses amounts paid for medical care you receive because you are a donor or a possible donor of a kidney or other organ.

You can include any expenses you pay for the medical care of a donor in connection with the donating of an organ. You can include in medical expenses amounts paid for transportation primarily for, and essential to, medical care. Transportation expenses of a parent who must go with a child who needs medical care,. Transportation expenses of a nurse or other person who can give injections, medications, or other treatment required by a patient who is traveling to get medical care and is unable to travel alone, and.

Transportation expenses for regular visits to see a mentally ill dependent, if these visits are recommended as a part of treatment. You can include out-of-pocket expenses, such as the cost of gas and oil, when you use a car for medical reasons.

You can't include depreciation, insurance, general repair, or maintenance expenses. If you don't want to use your actual expenses for , you can use the standard medical mileage rate of 17 cents a mile. You can also include parking fees and tolls. You can add these fees and tolls to your medical expenses whether you use actual expenses or the standard mileage rate. In , Bill Jones drove 2, miles for medical reasons. He wants to figure the amount he can include in medical expenses both ways to see which gives him the greater deduction.

He figures the actual expenses first. He then figures the standard mileage amount. You can't include in medical expenses the cost of transportation in the following situations. Going to and from work, even if your condition requires an unusual means of transportation. Travel for purely personal reasons to another city for an operation or other medical care. The costs of operating a specially equipped car for other than medical reasons. You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for transportation to another city if the trip is primarily for, and essential to, receiving medical services.

See Lodging , earlier. You can't include in medical expenses a trip or vacation taken merely for a change in environment, improvement of morale, or general improvement of health, even if the trip is made on the advice of a doctor. However, see Medical Conferences , earlier.

Under special circumstances, you can include charges for tuition in medical expenses. See Special Education , earlier. A lump-sum fee which includes education, board, and medical care—without distinguishing which part of the fee results from medical care—is not considered an amount payable for medical care. However, you can include charges for a health plan included in a lump-sum tuition fee if the charges are separately stated or can easily be obtained from the school.

See Eye Surgery , earlier. You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay to lose weight if it is a treatment for a specific disease diagnosed by a physician such as obesity, hypertension, or heart disease. This includes fees you pay for membership in a weight reduction group as well as fees for attendance at periodic meetings. You can't include membership dues in a gym, health club, or spa as medical expenses, but you can include separate fees charged there for weight loss activities.

You can't include the cost of diet food or beverages in medical expenses because the diet food and beverages substitute for what is normally consumed to satisfy nutritional needs. You can include the cost of special food in medical expenses only if:. The amount you can include in medical expenses is limited to the amount by which the cost of the special food exceeds the cost of a normal diet. You can include in medical expenses the amounts you pay for a wheelchair used for the relief of a sickness or disability.

The cost of operating and maintaining the wheelchair is also a medical expense. You can include in medical expenses the cost of a wig purchased upon the advice of a physician for the mental health of a patient who has lost all of his or her hair from disease.

Following is a list of some items that you can't include in figuring your medical expense deduction. You can't include in medical expenses amounts you pay for the care of children, even if the expenses enable you, your spouse, or your dependent to get medical or dental treatment. Also, any expense allowed as a childcare credit can't be treated as an expense paid for medical care.

You can't include in medical expenses amounts you pay for controlled substances such as marijuana, laetrile, etc. Generally, you can't include in medical expenses the amount you pay for unnecessary cosmetic surgery. This includes any procedure that is directed at improving the patient's appearance and doesn't meaningfully promote the proper function of the body or prevent or treat illness or disease.

You generally can't include in medical expenses the amount you pay for procedures such as face lifts, hair transplants, hair removal electrolysis , and liposuction. You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for cosmetic surgery if it is necessary to improve a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or a disfiguring disease. An individual undergoes surgery that removes a breast as part of treatment for cancer.

She pays a surgeon to reconstruct the breast. The surgery to reconstruct the breast corrects a deformity directly related to the disease. The cost of the surgery is includible in her medical expenses. You can't include in medical expenses the cost of dancing lessons, swimming lessons, etc. You can't include in medical expenses the amount you pay for diapers or diaper services, unless they are needed to relieve the effects of a particular disease.

See Cosmetic Surgery , earlier. You can't include in medical expenses amounts for which you are fully reimbursed by your flexible spending account if you contribute a part of your income on a pre-tax basis to pay for the qualified benefit. This rule doesn't apply in situations where the future care is purchased in connection with obtaining lifetime care, as explained under Lifetime Care—Advance Payments , or qualified long-term care insurance contracts, as explained under Long-Term Care , earlier.

You can't include in medical expenses health club dues or amounts paid to improve one's general health or to relieve physical or mental discomfort not related to a particular medical condition. You can't include in medical expenses the cost of membership in any club organized for business, pleasure, recreation, or other social purpose. You can't include in medical expenses amounts you pay for health insurance you use in figuring your health coverage tax credit.

For more information, see the Instructions for Form You can't include in medical expenses any payment or distribution for medical expenses out of a health savings account. Contributions to health savings accounts are deducted separately.

You can't include in medical expenses the cost of household help, even if such help is recommended by a doctor. This is a personal expense that isn't deductible.

However, you may be able to include certain expenses paid to a person providing nursing-type services. Also, certain maintenance or personal care services provided for qualified long-term care can be included in medical expenses.

You can't include in medical expenses amounts you pay for illegal operations, treatments, or controlled substances whether rendered or prescribed by licensed or unlicensed practitioners.

You can't include in medical expenses amounts you contribute to an Archer MSA. You can't include expenses you pay for with a tax-free distribution from your Archer MSA.

Before you can use the app, you must create a Member Website username and password. As stated in the previous FAQ, if you have not already done so, you must be registered on the Member Website to use the mobile banking services. You may receive both a SA and SA from us. Flexible Spending Accounts FSAs are tax-advantaged financial accounts that can be set-up through employers' cafeteria plans in the United States.

An FSA allows an employee to designate a portion of his or her pre-tax earnings to pay for qualified expenses as established in the cafeteria plan, most commonly for medical expenses, but often for dependent care or other expenditures.

The employer is also allowed to make contributions to employee FSAs, if desired, in order to offer a greater benefit to the staff. Enrolling in an FSA allows you to set aside pretax money from your paycheck. You will enjoy a tax savings on the money you can use for eligible health care expenses. With an FSA, you elect to have your annual contribution deducted from your paycheck each pay period, in equal installments throughout the year, until you reach the yearly maximum that you have specified.

The amount of your pay that goes into an FSA will not count as taxable income, so you will have immediate tax savings. FSA dollars can be used during the plan year to pay for qualified expenses and services. Annual participant contributions are limited by The Internal Revenue Service.

A Healthcare FSA allows reimbursement of qualifying out-of-pocket medical expenses. Common eligible expenses include dental treatment, orthodontia, prescription drugs, diagnostic services, hospital services and surgery, laboratory fees, obstetrical expenses, chiropractic care, physical therapy, eye examinations, glasses, contact lenses, laser eye surgery, hearing aids, smoking cessation programs, and weight loss programs to treat obesity, to name a few.

A limited FSA only allows reimbursement for preventive care, vision and dental expenses. A Dependent Care FSA allows reimbursement of dependent care expenses, such as daycare, incurred by eligible dependents. All eligible out-of-pocket expenses incurred by you, your spouse and your qualified dependents can be reimbursed from your Healthcare FSA, even if your spouse and qualified dependents are not enrolled in your employer's health plan.

Employers may elect a lower limit as part of their Healthcare FSA plan design. You should check with your Human Resources department for the specifics of your plan. The IRS contribution limit with be adjusted annually to account for inflation increases.

Requests for reimbursements should be submitted prior to the end of your employer's run-out period or period of time for which a claim for an expense can be submitted for a plan year that has ended or after an employee has terminated.

Health Reimbursement Arrangements HRAs are employer-funded plans that reimburse employees for incurred medical expenses that are not covered by the company's standard insurance plan. Because the employer funds the plan, any distributions are considered tax deductible to the employer. Reimbursement dollars received by the employee are generally tax-free. Unused HRA dollars may roll over from year to year, if allowed per plan rules, providing a potential incentive for employees to be better stewards of healthcare spending.

If employment is terminated, the employer can choose to keep unused funds. Your employer funds your HRA pre-tax. Because the money allocated by your employer doesn't count as income, there are no tax implications. It's kind of like getting a raise. Participating in an HRA is a great way to stretch your healthcare budget. An HRA usually sits alongside a health plan with higher deductible, coinsurance and copayment minimums; often these health plans have lower monthly medical premiums allowing you to save money.

Some employers allow you to rollover and accumulate unused funds year after year. The more you save in your HRA, the more funds you will have to pay eligible medical expenses when they occur.

An employer may also make the HRA portable so that you can take the funds with you when your employment ends or when you retire. HRA funds must be used for healthcare expenditures only.

Approved healthcare expenditures include those expenses identified by your employer as reimbursable from the HRA that are described as Medical Expenses in Section d of the IRS code. These expenses may include deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, prescription drugs, vision care and dental care. Your employer may limit the expenses your plan reimburses; please consult with your Human Resources department for more information on what expenses are covered by your HRA.

The IRS has a list of approved healthcare expenditures. However, your employer might have additional limitations. Examples of expenses that are not eligible for reimbursement include:.

Medical expenses that do not meet IRS section d requirements e. Medical expenses incurred by you, your spouse or any eligible dependents prior to your effective date in the plan; and, Medical expenses that can be reimbursed to you through any other source such as group health insurance.

HRAs are only funded by your employer. Your employer contributes a determined amount to your HRA. Contact your HR department for specifics on your plan setup. An HRA is designed to cover expenses not paid by your health plan including deductibles, coinsurance and copayments as well as many expenses your health plan may not cover. HRA funds can be used on eligible expenses determined by your employer. These typically include co-pays, health insurance deductibles and other IRS approved healthcare expenses.

For more information on your plan, contact your HR department. You can access forms by logging into the Member Website. By accessing you will be leaving the HSA Bank web site and entering a web site hosted by another party. Please be advised that you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of the HSA Bank web site.

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