News You Can Use - Using Your FSA or HSA Insurance to Purchase Your Air Purifier

News You Can Use - Using Your FSA or HSA Insurance to Purchase Your Air Purifier


            Air pollution is usually associated with big cities, but the air in your home might be even more polluted than outdoors, according to the EPA.  Taking steps to control the air quality in your home can reduce your risk of related health concerns.  Air purifiers help decrease contaminants in a room.  They are especially beneficial for people who suffer from allergies or asthma, and can decrease pet dander, chemicals, and other contaminants in the air.  An air purifier is a simple solution that can improve at-home air quality, and it might be FSA-eligible, and worth investigating, if your medical needs meet the requirements.  This means that you may be able to decrease air pollution in your home and save money.  It’s the ultimate win-win situation. 

What is the difference between and HSA and FSA?

            Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) both help you reduce your taxable income by putting money away for healthcare expenses, but there are some major differences.  Generally, an FSA allows you to elect at the beginning of a plan year the total amount of money that you want to set aside from your pay for the whole plan year to spend on IRS-qualified healthcare expenses.  The tax-exempt funds are saved and spent on a year-by-year basis, and are therefore often referred to as “use-it-or-lose it” accounts.  You must use it by the end of the plan year.  That is why now is a good time to use your FSA to purchase an air purifier, before you lose the benefit for the plan year.  You should check with your plan administrator to ensure that an air purifier is eligible – they often are, and you may need a letter of medical necessity (LMN) from your physician.

            An HSA may also be used for IRS-qualified expenses, but it is a longer-term account.  HSAs are available to anyone covered by an IRS-qualified high deductible health plan (HDHP).   If you are covered by an HDHP, you may contribute to your HAS throughout the year in whatever increments you choose, up to an annual maximum.  The HSA funds stay with you, even if you later leave the HDHP plan, until you spend them – including through retirement. 

            Some other differences:

  • FSAs are employer-sponsored plans, and HSAs are owned by you. Therefore, when you change employers, you can take the HSA with you, but any funds contributed to your FSA generally must be spent.
  • You can open an HSA even if it isn’t offered by your employer. You’re allowed to contribute to an HSA as long as you have an HSA-eligible health insurance policy.
  • HSAs are not “use it or lose it.” Unspent funds remain in an HSA, year after year through retirement.  With FSAs, you must spend the money by the end of the year (or carryover period, if offered by your employer).
  • You can change your regular contribution amounts to your HSA at any time throughout the year. FSA contributions are set at the beginning of the plan year and cannot be altered except in cases of a qualifying event.
  • You can invest HSA funds to grow over the long term.
  • With HSAs you have an unlimited amount of time to reimburse yourself. You can withdraw the money for eligible expenses at any time.  With FSAs, you must submit receipts by a deadline in order to substantiate the expenses as eligible per IRS requirements. 

While air purifiers are not usually covered by traditional health insurance, they are often covered by HSA and FSA health insurance accounts.  If you are using your Austin Air purifier to treat a medical condition, such as asthma, allergies, or COPD, it is likely that your FSA or HSA funds can be used to cover the cost.  Austin Air purifiers have been clinically proven through trials with some of the country’s leading institutions, including Johns Hopkins University, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and the University of Washington.  If you are suffering from allergies, asthma, COPD, or other medical conditions that can be treated with clean air, let your HSA and FSA accounts work for you, and save you money!

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