If you’re not an avid user of the current healthcare system—meaning you’re not regularly seeing your MD to refill prescriptions or having procedures done—you might not be familiar with a subset of your health plan that can actually help you pay for out-of-pocket services like more natural, integrative treatments. It’s called a Health Savings Account, and it’s an underutilized ally that can offset costs from prescriptions to over the counter medications.
Essentially, an HSA is a pre-tax account that you set up and use for medical expenses you may incur. Most people receive this as a benefit from their insurers, but if you’re thinking “What the heck is an HSA?” you’ll want to set up a meeting with your financial planner to talk about if you qualify or if it’s best for you.
Redefining your doctor experience
The great thing about an HSA is that it can help cover your out-of-pocket medical expenses, allowing you to be more in control of your treatments, and providers. Aside from prescriptions and co-pays, let’s go through five other things you can use your HSA on that you may have not known about.*
- The cost difference of special foods due to your medical condition, such as gluten-free, salt-free or others. Do you have documented proof that your dietary choices cause your medical condition to worsen? If you haven’t reviewed these needs with your doctor, now’s the time to do that! This expense requires a letter of medical necessity from your doctor, but taking the time to get this established could save you money!
- Nutritional supplements, or herbal medicines that are prescribed by your doctor for treatment of your medical condition. The use of integrative, holistic or functional medicine is becoming more and more well known as patients find it to be the best way to receive adequate medical care. Practitioners (including us at Mpls IMC!) can utilize herbs, and nutrients in therapeutic doses to optimize your biochemistry. If you’re already using herbs and nutrients, why not stop in, get a personalized plan and utilize HSA benefits to pay for your treatments?
- Medical equipment for treatment of your medical conditions. Does staying sedentary at your desk all day cause you lower back pain, or contribute to your weight gain? Both lower back pain and obesity/overweight are medical conditions and you can have a discussion with your doctor about what types of equipment at your work desk may help you treat your condition. Standing desk, anyone?
- Air purifier and filters. We talk a lot of about environmental exposures, allergens and having a nontoxic household. If you’re having difficulty keeping your medical condition under control because of your air quality, your doctor may write you a letter of medical necessity to purchase an air purifier and filters with your HSA account to help treat your condition.
- Medical office visits. This one may seem obvious, but it’s always a nice refresher to know that even if your practitioner doesn’t accept your health insurance, utilizing your HSA benefits may overcome your obstacle to getting quality care. With all the oversight, regulations, and algorithms that insurance companies pose on their practitioners, many patients find better care outside the system. At Minneapolis Integrative Medicine Center, you can utilize your HSA benefits to work with our team, get laboratory testing, and engage in therapies needed to treat your condition!
That’s not all: Your HSA can cover so many other expenses! For more info, check out this resource for more potential treatments that you’re utilizing that may be covered.
*Please call your HSA provider directly to determine if this falls within their specific accounts. There may be differences between carriers.