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Flexible Spending and Obesity

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Old 12-07-2004, 09:02 PM   #1
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Default Flexible Spending and Obesity

I have a lot of flex spending dollars left so I have been sifting through IRS code for Flex Spending and I wanted to make anyone who has this benefit aware - obesity is a specific medical condition. So, you may be able to use flex spending for your gym or exercise equipment.

Health Club
Dues paid to a health club, YMCA, YWCA or spas are allowable when the member submits documentation from the attending physician stating that the membership expenses are for treatment of a specific medical condition. Reimbursement should be only for the individual membership and for the component that is related to a single year. Any dues that carry over to a subsequent year would violate the IRS rule of constructive receipt.

Exercise Equipment
Exercise equipment may be covered when prescribed by a physician as treatment for a specific medical condition.

Weight Loss Programs
Medical expenses paid for a weight loss program prescribed by a doctor for treatment of a specific medical condition are covered. Reimbursement should be only for the component that is related to a single calendar year. The member should submit documentation from the attending physician prescribing the weight loss program confirming that it was medically necessary for a specific medical condition and not for general health enhancement.

Fees paid to a dietitian are eligible when referred by a physician for treatment of a specific medical condition.

Amounts paid for counseling (i.e., behavioral, marriage or pastoral counseling) for a family member with a medical condition qualify as medical expenses. There must be documentation from a physician stating that counseling was prescribed and that it is medically necessary to treat a specific medical or mental illness.
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Old 12-07-2004, 09:28 PM   #2
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Not related to obesity, but you can get reimbursed for massage, too, if your physician "prescribes" it. Until my DH ended up needing dental work, I had a bunch of money left, too, so I got several massages.

You can also get reimbursed for over-the-counter products like Tylenol or Advil (and all the others), saline solution for contacts, Thermacare wraps (I use a lot of those), pain patches, and antifungals like Lotrimin as well as a bunch of other stuff. I stock up on Thermacare wraps when they're on sale.

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