Flex Account eligibility?

silverf1re

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 3, 2011
211
8
Hey all. I have about 500 bucks of FSA money to burn and I was wondering if anyone has tried to submit their apple watch as a FSA eligible purchase. I have read other saying that heart rate monitors are eligible and devices like the Fitbit have been accepted. Let me know if you have any info on the topic.
 

Xenden

macrumors regular
Jun 14, 2013
200
182
Rio Rancho, NM
Assuming you're in the US, my gut answer would be no. This is from 10 years of tax preparer experience.

There are a few reasons that I would say no. First there are cheaper devices that do the same thing. Also I'm not too sure if this would be a medical device that is FDA approved.

Then again, I could see a way to make an argument that the watch would be deductible/reimbursable for you.

Best ways to get something to count is to have your doctor prescribe it as part of a treatment regimen.

An extreme example of a deductible expense would be a hot tub. For people with extreme eczema, or other dermatology issue that can be treated with hot water, they can actually deduct the hot tub so long as their doctor prescribes it.

Again, I would say no, it doesn't really pass the sniff test; but worse case is you can't get the reimbursement through your fsa. If you have a heart/weight/etc issue, you could at least go for it.
 

mcdj

macrumors G3
Jul 10, 2007
8,900
4,092
NYC
Just explain to your accountant that you need the watch to make sure you don't miss any texts from your wife, because if you miss another one, she will murder you. Boom, the watch falls under "Life Saving Device", or "LSD".
 

trek360

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2011
338
18
Hey all. I have about 500 bucks of FSA money to burn and I was wondering if anyone has tried to submit their apple watch as a FSA eligible purchase. I have read other saying that heart rate monitors are eligible and devices like the Fitbit have been accepted. Let me know if you have any info on the topic.
FSA rules have gotten stricter over the years. In the past certain fitness expenses have qualified if directly related to treatment of a medical condition such as obesity or diabetes and prescribed by a doctor. I'd check with your plan administrator or plan website if you want to be sure. Different plans may have different interpretations. If you're buying it anyway, you can try to get a note from your doctor and submit the receipt and see what happens.

Interestingly one of the latest health markers is getting 30 minutes of exercise a day. This is measured by the AW and Fitbit. There is a case to be made for FSA coverage especially if you have an associated medical condition. It doesn't take much to be considered obese. :)

FSA is different than a tax deduction so there are different rules.

Let us know what happens.
 

Xenden

macrumors regular
Jun 14, 2013
200
182
Rio Rancho, NM
FSA is different than a tax deduction so there are different rules.
They are different, but they also have a lot of similarities.

The key similarity is does this expense pass the sniff test. I would be very uncomfortable to allow a client to take this as a deduction. Same thing if i were the flex spending account manager if someone want a reimbursement for an apple watch purchase. But again, easiest way to get it approved is to have a doctor prescribe it.
 

trek360

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2011
338
18
They are different, but they also have a lot of similarities.

The key similarity is does this expense pass the sniff test. I would be very uncomfortable to allow a client to take this as a deduction. Same thing if i were the flex spending account manager if someone want a reimbursement for an apple watch purchase. But again, easiest way to get it approved is to have a doctor prescribe it.
Good points, Xenden. Many FSA plans will follow IRS guidelines but they are separate entities in the end.

Fitbit or another stand alone fitness device would seem easier to justify. The argument to expense an iPhone for its health app prob wouldn't fly. There is no coverage for general healthfulness.

The bottom line is that the OP needs to check with his FSA plan. (And an associated medical diagnosis a doctor will sign off on)
 

silverf1re

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 3, 2011
211
8
Good points, Xenden. Many FSA plans will follow IRS guidelines but they are separate entities in the end.

Fitbit or another stand alone fitness device would seem easier to justify. The argument to expense an iPhone for its health app prob wouldn't fly. There is no coverage for general healthfulness.

The bottom line is that the OP needs to check with his FSA plan. (And an associated medical diagnosis a doctor will sign off on)
Thanks all. I'll call my HSA people this week and let you know what they say. I can see them saying no to the apple watch but I hope I can at least get something that tracks that stuff. Here's to hoping.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
557
Shady Dale, Georgia
Earlier this year, I was able to purchase a ECG monitor made for iOS devices by a company called Alivecor using my FSA Visa. I did have to submit an explanation of what it was for to the FSA provider but it was accepted because it is an FDA approved device. After the new year starts, I may see if I can get reimbursed from FSA for purchasing an Apple Watch Series 4. I will not be able to use the FSA Visa card because Apple doesn't meet the requirements to accept it. Things may have changed now that Series 4 has an FDA clearance.

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