Having a desk job that requires constant sitting can put pressure on our back muscles and lead to back injuries or back pain. If that’s the case, you are probably searching for an ergonomic chair to minimize this back issue.
Now, if you have FSA, HSA, or HRA account, you might be wondering, are ergonomic chairs FSA eligible?
Ergonomic chairs are FSA eligible with a letter of medical necessity (LMN). Ergonomic chairs are also eligible with a health savings account (HSA) and a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). All of these accounts require a letter of medical necessity to be eligible to purchase the ergonomic chair.
In this article, I will explain what ergonomic chairs are, what makes them eligible with the FSA, how you can get the Letter of Medical Necessity for your ergonomic chair.
Also, what would happen if you purchased the ergonomic chair without the letter of medical necessity. So, keep reading the post!
What are FSA/HSA/HRA accounts?
Flexible Spending Account (FSA): FSA is a health care account that you can get through a job. You can make out-of-pocket health care payments with this account, and you don’t need to pay any taxes on this money.
Health Savings Account (HSA): HSA is health savings account that you can open if you have a High Deductible Health Plan(HDHP). You can use this account to pay the bill for your health care. You don’t need to pay any taxes on this money as well.
Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA): HRA is an employer-funded or a company-funded group health plan that you can reimburse if you are an employee. This money is tax-free as well, one benefit is that unused money could be used in the subsequent years.
FSA/HSA/HRA are all tax-free healthcare plans that can be used to pay bills for medical expenses. These special accounts are meant to pay medical expenses that aren’t covered by your medical insurance.
Why Are Ergonomic Chairs FSA Eligible?
Before you understand why ergonomic chairs are FSA eligible, you need to know what ergonomic chairs are and their relation with medical care.
Ergonomic chairs are particular types of chairs that are made to offer the best sitting experience, which also mitigates the issue of back injury, back pain, knee pain, hip pain, and sciatica.
Ergonomic chairs such as ergonomic office chairs, kneeling chairs, standing seats, saddle chairs, etc., are widely available, and they can be configured to get the most sitting experience.
Having a desk with 6-12 hours of sitting a day can hurt your back so severely that it can cause injury and health-related issues. Ergonomic chairs have the benefit of reducing back-related problems by maintaining lumbar lordosis while sitting.
Now the question arises, why are ergonomic chairs FSA eligible? Ergonomic chairs are FSA eligible because they fall under medical care, and many doctors or chiropractors recommend ergonomic chairs to treat back-related issues.
If you have chronic back pain, you might not be able to sit on a traditional chair which might hurt you more. But by using a specialized ergonomic chair, you can get relief from back pain, back injury, knee pain, hip pain, sciatica, etc.
What Other Products Are FSA-eligible?
Any product or service that can mitigate, treat, prevent or diagnose health-related issues falls under FSA eligibility. Mainly health-related product or service can be used by FSA account.
So, many products and services fall under FSA eligibility. Suppose you need to purchase prescription eyeglasses or any medicine you can buy using your FSA/HSA/HRA account.
You can purchase your Ergonomic chair for back pain or any health-related issues, but there’s a catch.
Ergonomic chairs were developed to offer the best health benefit while you are sitting for prolonged hours. But that does not necessarily put ergonomic chairs to health-related products unless you have a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN).
So, to eligibly purchase an ergonomic chair with your FSA/HSA account, you need to get a Letter of Medical Necessity; otherwise your purchase won’t be eligible, and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can penalize you for this.
How Do You Get a Letter of Medical Necessity for Ergonomic Chairs?
Getting a Letter of Medical Necessity is the easiest task; you can just ask your doctor or chiropractor to provide one. Tell them that you have back problems or other issues from sitting; they will almost certainly write you one.
If your doctor or chiropractor already prescribed you a particular ergonomic chair to mitigate back pain issues, you don’t even have to ask for LMN.
What would happen if you purchase a product using FSA/HSA account without LMN?
As you can purchase anything with your FSA/HSA account; but it has to be a qualified medical expense.
Let’s say you purchase an ergonomic chair using your FSA account without the Letter of Medical Necessity; then this purchase won’t be eligible as a qualified medical expense.
In this case, when you file for your tax return, you need to report the qualified medical expenses that you pay using an FSA account. If there is any amount that wasn’t an eligible medical expense, it will have added income tax and an additional 20% tax penalty.
So, you would need to sign under penalty of perjury that everything on your tax return is true and accurate. You can not just claim a product as a qualified medical expense unless you have the LMN.
The best advice would be to get the Letter of Medical Necessity and purchase the product.
Are ergonomic office chairs FSA eligible?
Ergonomic office chairs will be FSA eligible if you have the Letter of Medical Necessity(LMN) to purchase the chair.
Is a standing desk FSA eligible?
The standing desk will be FSA eligible if it falls the definition of the medical expense. If you have any underlying condition that you can mitigate using a standing desk, you can most certainly purchase a standing desk with your FSA account.
Just get the LMN from your doctor to make the standing desk FSA eligible.
Does insurance pay for ergonomic chairs?
Many insurance plans will pay for ergonomic chairs if a doctor prescribes the chair to treat health-related issues such as back pain, neck pain, knee pain, sciatica, etc.
How can I get insurance to pay for standing desk?
You can get an FSA/HRA plan if you are an employee of a company that offers an FSA/HRA plan, and if you have a High Deductible Health Plan(HDHP), you can get an HSA plan that may pay for your standing desk. Make sure you have a Letter of Medical Necessity(LMN) to make the purchase eligible.
Can I buy an office chair with my HSA?
You can buy an office chair with your HSA if your office chair is ergonomic that can treat health-related issues such as back pain, knee pain, etc. You will need the LMN to make the purchase eligible.
Thanks for reading our article, if you have a minute you can check our post, “What are Ergonomic Office Chairs and When Are They Necessary?“