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Can I use my Health Savings Account for plastic surgery?

woman getting marked up for plastic surgery

Paying for your face-lift is more difficult than you think

At Bernard Health, we are often asked about paying for plastic surgery with money from a health-savings account.

Most of the time, the answer is unfortunately “no”. The HSA can only be used for cosmetic surgery if prescribed by a physician and deemed medically necessary. How do you know if your plastic surgery is deemed medically necessary? If it’s unclear, ask your doctor. 

As an elective procedure, your costs wouldn't qualify as an eligible medical expense. Qualified medical expenses under an HSA are defined as: medical copayments or coinsurance, long-term care costs, dental care costs, vision care costs, prescriptions medications and some over-the-counter medications. HSA funds can also be used to pay for COBRA or retiree medical insurance premiums.

You can find a more complete list of what is considered an “eligible medical expense” on page 15 of the IRS document.  

The following list may be helpful for the grey area questions of what your HSA doesn’t cover. 

Your HSA doesn’t cover the following:

  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Exercise equipment
  • Fitness Programs
  • Funeral expenses
  • Gym memberships 
  • Hair transplants
  • House help
  • Illegal operations and treatments
  • Insurance premiums
  • Maternity Clothes 
  • Teeth Whitening 

However, another grey area is LASIK surgery. You can pay for lasik surgery with money from your health-savings account. So that should be good news! 

Remember, you can spend the money in your HSA on anything you wish after age 65 and you will pay normal income taxes on that purchase.  Before age 65, if you spend the money on a non-eligible medical expense, you will pay taxes plus a 20% penalty on that purchase.  

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like HSA rules

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