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11 Surprising Things Your HSA Will Cover

You might be missing out on some real tax savings on health-related items and services.

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Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are medical bank accounts that are paired with low premium, high deductible health insurance policies. The high deductible/low premium insurance policy is counterbalanced by the ability for the individual to save income that is not subject to federal or state taxes. The money in the HSA can then be spent on IRS-approved medical expenses.

See Also on Kiplinger: You Don't Need Earnings to Contribute to a Health Savings Account

If you have an HSA and you have only used it to pay doctor's bills, why spend taxed money on IRS approved medical expenses when you can utilize pretax dollars? Check out 11 items you can purchase with your HSA.

1. Allergy Medication

If you have allergies (either food or environmental) that you need medication for, you can purchase prescription medication with your HSA. Over-the-counter medication cannot be purchased with your HSA, unless prescribed by a doctor.

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2. Arch Supports

Purchasing arch supports are sometimes necessary for a pain-free life, and they can cost anywhere from $5 to $150. Custom- or mass-produced arch supports can be an HSA-approved medical expense if you receive a prescription from your doctor.

3. Bandages and Band-Aids

Over-the-counter bandages and Band-Aids can be purchased with your HSA.

4. Birth Control

Both over-the-counter and prescription birth control are HSA-approved medical expenses. Here are just a few of the items you can purchase with your health savings account: IUD, Norplant, condoms, spermicide, and pregnancy test kits.

5. Braille Books or Magazines

If you are vision-impaired, you can utilize your HSA to reimburse yourself part of the money from purchasing Braille books or magazines. In order to calculate how much you can reimburse yourself, you should utilize this formula: cost of Braille book less cost of the traditional book equals HSA approved reimbursement.

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See Also on Kiplinger: How Married Couples Can Pay for Long-Term-Care Insurance With HSA Funds

6. Contact Lens Solution

If you wear contact lenses, you can purchase the solution necessary to clean the lenses with your health savings account.

7. Guide Animals

The costs of purchasing, training, and caring for guide animals are an IRS-approved HSA expense. You will need to register your service animal in your state in order to utilize this HSA-approved expense. (If you try to say that a non-qualified animal you own is a service animal, the likelihood of being fined will be high.)

8. Lead Paint Removal

If you live in a home with lead paint, and your child has or has had lead paint poisoning, you can pay for the paint to be removed with your HSA.

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9. Mouth Guards

Mouth guards that have been prescribed by a dentist due to teeth grinding can be paid for with your health savings account.

10. Prescription Sunglasses

Prescription sunglasses can be an expensive necessity for the vision-challenged. If you either cannot or will not switch to contact lenses, you're stuck with purchasing prescription sunglasses or going without. You can, if you want, pay for the prescription sunglasses with your HSA. If you want to save money on the second pair, you might consider asking for the prescription and shopping around at various chain eyeglass stores.

See Also on Kiplinger: Rolling Over a Traditional IRA to a Health Savings Account

11. Prescription Goggles

If you spend a lot of time swimming or diving, you need to ditch your glasses for long periods of time. This can make your adventure (or job) harder and less enjoyable. Like sunglasses, goggles can be purchased with your HSA. (You might need to check online to determine if anyone in your area sells prescription goggles).

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A Health Savings Account can be a great way for the relatively healthy individuals to save money on medical expenses. Just remember that as you make purchases with your HSA to file copies of your prescriptions and receipts with your tax returns. You'll need them if the IRS decides to audit you. If you can't prove the expenses were HSA-approved expenses, you might end up paying a fine (even if you followed the rules).

This article is from Samantha Stauf of Wise Bread, an award-winning personal finance and credit card comparison website.

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