Can I Use My HSA to Buy a Standing Desk? (Yes, & Here’s How)

One of the biggest pain (literally) of having a desk is that eventually you’ll have to deal with back/shoulder aches. Whether you’re a gamer or 9-5 office worker, you have to cope with a sedentary lifestyle. 

Well, you can always go for a standing desk, right? But those things can get quite expensive. So, you might be wondering if you can buy a standing desk using your HSA.

Buying a standing desk with your HSA is definitely possible and the process is quite straightforward. Since 2003, HSA or Health Savings Account can be used to purchase health beneficial tools like a standing desk. For that a written document from a doctor stating the standing desk is for health reasons is required.

In this article, I will be discussing the ins and outs of this process in order to make sure that you have all the necessary information to make such a purchase. 

Can I Really Buy a Standing Desk with My HSA?

You can buy a standing desk with your HSA if you can get a written approval from your doctor. Otherwise, it’s not possible. Let me explain.

If you have an office job, then it’s safe to assume that you have an HSA account. Whether you enjoy your job or you just toil away on a 9-5 desk job for the money, there is no escaping the fact that you have to sit down for at least 8 hours a day. 

That can have serious effects on your health. And the worst part is that the traditional office desk is designed to be sat around.

Sitting down for a long time puts pressure on your spine and it leaves you vulnerable to injury and back pain. 

It leads to poor blood flow, low metabolism and obesity. All of these issues can be resolved if you invest in a standing desk. 

Whether you work in a traditional corporation that provides health insurance or you work in IT as a freelancer you’re eligible for HSA in the form of deductibles. 

All you need is to get a doctor’s approval stating that a standing desk will protect you from potential health risks. You can use that document to buy a standing desk using your HSA. 

Why You Should Be Using a Standing Desk? 

If you’ve been searching around for desks or chairs, then you’ve probably heard the buzzword “Ergonomics” floating around a lot. What even is ergonomics? Well, ergonomics is the scientific study that strives to find the best design of products that are ideal for people to use. 

Ergonomics can improve your quality of life exponentially and it can drastically improve your workflow. That way you’ll be better equipped to focus on your work and it will also reduce the risk of work related health hazards and injuries. 

And do you know, which type of desk has better ergonomics between a traditional sitting desk and a standing desk? You’ve guessed it! It’s the standing desk. 

A standing desk allows the desk-bound employees to move around and change position throughout the day. That lets them be more energetic and it also improves the mood of the employees. 

And the best part is that, a standing desk allows the user to alternate between standing and sitting without causing any impact to their workflow.

Just imagine the increase in productivity if you don’t have to worry about any  pain, discomfort or long-term negative health effects  even if you work 8-hours straight everyday. 

That’s why you should opt to purchase a standing desk via your HSA. 

What Is a Health Savings Account (HSA)?

A Health Savings Account or HSA for short, is a tax-advantaged (i.e tax-free)  savings account. It is only applicable for the people who receive their insurance coverage via HDHPs or high deductible health plans.

The periodic contributions to such an account are made by the company or employee. It’s main purpose is to finance the qualified medical expenses that don’t get covered by HDHPs.

You can use your HSA account to pay for medical care and also for prescription drugs. But it does have an annual cap. 

In addition to that, due  to the (CARES) Act, enacted in 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the HSA account can now be used to buy over-the-counter drugs that don’t require a prescription. 

Please consult with your employer or a pharmacist to figure out which things you can purchase using your HSA fund. 

How to Get a Doctor’s Note for My Standing Desk? 

You need to provide a  physician’s recommendation for a standing desk in order to be eligible for purchasing a standing  desk through your HSA.

Armed with a doctor’s note you will be able to get a brand new standing desk partially/fully funded by your company. 

For doing that you need to contact your physician and share your concerns  related to your sedentary lifestyle and how it is affecting you. If he/she agrees, then you’ll be able to get a doctor’s note for that.

Here  are the key information contained within that note: 

  1. The doctor’s contact information
  2. Your information as well as the reported symptoms/issues  
  3. How a standing desk will help resolve symptoms/issues 
  4. A medical recommendation for using a standing desk

How to Purchase Your Standing Desk by HSA?

Now it’s time for us to finally tackle the issue head on and go through the steps to purchase a standing desk through your HSA: 

  1. First, you need to pick and choose the standing desk model that best suits your preferences and requirements. 
  2. Make sure you have the letter of medical necessity with you. This is the most crucial step in the whole process. Without this document you won’t be able to buy a standing desk with your HSA.
  3. Now that you have the letter of medical necessity with you, it’s time for you to order your standing desk model. 
  4. This step is a  bit tricky, as you have to pay for the standing desk out of your account (basically out of your own pocket). But, you’ll get reimbursed for this spending once you show the recent of the purchase as well as the previously mentioned letter of medical necessity. 
  5. The method of reimbursement may vary from applying online or via snail mail. You might receive the payment through wire transfer or through check. 

Related Questions 

Can Standing Desk Be Covered by Insurance?

Yes, you can purchase a standing desk through your insurance, but you’ll require a prescription from a certified medical professional in order to do that. Your insurance company will pay for the purchase as long as you have the prescription for it. 

Can a doctor prescribe a standing desk?

Yes, you can get a prescription for an adjustable standing desk or an angle adjustable chair if you have a specific condition that could be helped with the use of the ergonomic standing equipment being prescribed.

A letter of medical necessity will be necessary to get the standing desk prescription.

It’s possible to get a prescription for a height-adjustable standing desk or even an angle adjustable office chair, provided that certain conditions are met.

You need to prove that your traditional office desk or chair is causing your health issues. 

Or you might be suffering from a specific condition that requires you to use a standing desk. If your physician agrees, he/she will provide you with a letter of medical necessity. 

Do employers have to provide standing desks?

Employers are not required to provide a standing desk simply because the employee wants one. However, an employer should take such requests seriously and evaluate whether he/she has a legal obligation before simply denying an employee’s request.

Look, if you are an employee, you need to understand one thing. And that is your employer is not obliged to provide a standing desk to an employee just because he/she asks for it. That’s just not how this works. 

However, if you can provide your employer with the necessary documentation proving your medical need for a standing desk, then he/she has to comply with that request. 

Final Thoughts  

While most of the world is staying home indulging in Netflix and Chill as they sit out the pandemic, there are a lot of us who have to work from home to earn a living.

Although working from home has its own ups and downs, one thing  is certain and that is sedentary behavior affects one’s physical and mental health.

The good news is that you can help remedy that if you use your HSA account to buy yourself a standing desk. That will save you a large medical bill in the future for sure. 

An Ergonomic standing desk will be an excellent investment for you. It will improve your workflow by a large margin.

And now you know how to use your HSA account in order to purchase a  standing desk. It’s time for you to use this knowledge and get yourself an ergonomic standing desk ASAP! 

Asif Iqbal

Hi, I’m the co-owner of officechairtrends.com. I had spend hundreds of hours researching on Office Chairs. This is the site where I share everything I’ve learned about office chairs.