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Using An HSA To Cover A Breast Pump (A Helpful Guide)

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When I went to purchase a breast pump, I found that the pump I selected was not fully covered by my insurance. I had to pay a little bit out of pocket for the pump that would work the best for me. I wondered if I could use my HSA account to purchase the breast pump, so I did some research.

So, are breast pumps covered by an HSA or FSA?

Yes, breast pumps and supplies are considered medical expenses by the IRS and covered by a Health Savings Account (HSA) or FSA. It is best to purchase the pump and supplies from a Durable Medical Equipment company to ensure that they will be covered by an HSA.

I found that there were a few things I needed to do to ensure my breast pump would be covered by my HSA. You can also make sure you are eligible for an HSA before buying a breast pump.

Disclaimer: I am not an accountant or CPA and am not providing financial advice in this article. It is best to work with an accountant to discuss your individual situation. The information in this article is general information provided based on personal experience.

How To Purchase A Breast Pump Covered By an HSA or FSA

The first thing to do is to contact a Durable Medical Equipment company. This is just a fancy name for a company that sells medical equipment and supplies.

Some companies are easier to work with than others. I found that Aeroflow was really great to work with when I was looking for a pump. They also had the best selection of pumps compared to the other companies I contacted.

The great thing about checking first with a medical equipment company is that they will contact your insurance company. They will check to see if your insurance will cover the cost before you need to pay out of pocket with your HSA dollars.

Every insurance plan is different, so it does not hurt to check it out.

I found that my insurance plan covered one pump for each calendar year (as long as my baby was under 1 year old). This was really useful because I was able to leave one pump at work and keep my second pump at home.

My insurance plan also covered replacement pumping supplies. That was a huge help because replacing duckbill valves can get expensive.

My insurance plan did not cover milk storage bags, but I have heard about some plans covering the bags.

When I decided to purchase a pump that cost a little more than what my insurance plan covered, I was able to use my HSA card to cover the remaining balance.

If you prefer to not use an HSA or FSA debit card, then save the receipt from the Durable Medical Equipment company. Then, use the receipt to submit a request for reimbursement from your HSA plan administrator.

This receipt needs to be saved with your tax records for reference if you happen to be audited by the IRS in the future. This is the same practice most people use for any type of HSA reimbursement.

Even if you use your HSA debit card to pay for the balance of your pump, be sure to save your receipt.

If you are interested in purchasing a breast pump through a Durable Medical Equipment company, the company I recommend is Aeroflow. You can check them out by clicking on this link. It will take you to a short form to fill out. The process is very quick and easy!

If you are looking to purchasing a breast pump through Amazon, you can check out the current price of one of my favorite pumps by clicking here.

If you haven’t decided which breast pump is the best one for you, check out my ultimate guide to selecting a breast pump (Spectra vs. Medela).

What Does The IRS Say About HSA and FSA Coverage for Breast Pumps And Supplies?

I was curious to find out for myself what the IRS had to say about HSA and FSA coverage for breast pumps and pumping supplies. I did some research on the IRS website, and this is what I found.

The first step is to make sure that you are eligible for an HSA or FSA. You can start by contacting the human resources or the benefits point of contact at your workplace. HR should be able to help you understand if you are eligible for an HSA.

In general, you are eligible for an HSA if you have a high deductible health insurance plan. You can make pre-tax contributions to this HSA. It is similar to a savings account. The contributions and any interest or growth within the HSA are designated to be used for medical expenses at a future time.

According to IRS publication 969, you can take a distribution (withdrawal) from an HSA for qualified medical expenses. Qualified medical expenses are those listed under IRS publication 502.

There are many items which are qualified medical expenses to the IRS.

According to the IRS publication 502 (Medical and Dental Expenses), a breast pump is considered a medical expense.

“Breast Pumps and Supplies: You can include in medical expenses the cost of breast pumps and supplies that assist lactation. This does not include the costs of excess bottles for food storage.”

IRS Publication 502

Are Breast Pump Parts And Supplies Covered By An HSA Plan?

Some breast pump parts and supplies are covered by an HSA plan.

The IRS is clear that extra bottles are not considered a medical expense. Because of this, they are not considered to be qualified withdrawals to be covered by a HSA plan.

Under Publication 502, the IRS states that “supplies that assist lactation” are considered a medical expense.

Supplies that assist lactation the most closely may be the supplies that are required to use a breast pump, such as:

  • Flanges
  • Tubing
  • Membranes
  • Duckbill Valves
  • Backflow Protectors

The good news about this is that these are the supplies that need to be replaced the most frequently because they wear out. I wrote a detailed post about replacing breast pump parts, and you can check it out here.

There are several other supplies that assist lactation, and I personally did not use my HSA funds for them.

I would rather play it safe and contact an expert for help.If you would like to speak with a specialist, feel free to fill out the contact form with Aeroflow, and they can help to guide you through the process.

What If I Have Already Purchased My Pump?

The best thing to do is to find the receipt. Take a look at it and make sure that it describes in detail the item that you purchased.

If you have a detailed receipt describing that your purchase is for a breast pump, then store the receipt where you keep the rest of your documents for taxes.

It may also be helpful to take a photo of the pump and the box that the pump came in, and store the photo where you keep your tax documents.

A photo may seem like it is a little bit of overkill, but it may come in helpful in the event of an audit.

The next thing to do is to submit the receipt to your HSA plan administrator for reimbursement for the expense. Your HSA plan will then send the reimbursement back to you.

The reimbursement is usually with a check through the mail or through direct deposit if you have that feature set up with your plan.

If you have already purchased your pump, you may want to contact a Durable Medical Equipment company. They can check if your health insurance plan covers replacement pump supplies.

What Information Do I Need When Contacting A Durable Medical Equipment Company?

The information you need is very simple. Most of the information you will already know, and you will just need your health plan insurance card.

For example, the information that I needed to provide when I contacted Aeroflow was:

  • My e-mail address and my baby’s due date (I used my daughter’s birth date because I contacted them after she was born)
  • My name, address, and my birth date
  • My Insurance Company and Member ID (from my insurance card)

It was very simple!

After I filled out that information, then my account specialist at Aeroflow took over from there. They contacted my insurance company to figure out if I was eligible for a breast pump or additional pumping supplies.

Next, they contacted my doctor to get a prescription for a breast pump. Then, they filled out all the paperwork for reimbursement with my health insurance plan.

Three days later, I received an e-mail that I was approved for a pump. They sent me a link and I was able to view the pumps that were covered by my plan and select my pump. It was shipped a few days after that.

If you are unable to receive a pump, you can also contact Aeroflow and see if you are eligible for replacement pump supplies.

After I had been using my pump for a few months, Aeroflow contacted me to let me know that I was eligible for replacement pump supplies.

This was really convenient because some of my pumping supplies were starting to lose suction. My duckbill valves and backflow protectors were getting lose since they were used quite a bit.

I was eligible to receive replacement supplies as long as I continued pumping through my baby’s first year.

To get some help with ordering your pump, go ahead and click on this link. It will take you to a form on Aeroflow’s website. After you fill out the form, they will check to see if you are eligible for a pump and/or replacement pump supplies.

If you end up choosing a pump that costs more than what your insurance will cover, ask your account specialist about using your HSA card to cover the remaining balance.

Recommended Reading

  1. Find your perfect pump bag – Sarah Wells Vs. JuJuBe Pump Bags (Best Stylish Pump Bags)
  2. All my best tips for pumping milk – 17 Best Pumping Tips for Beginners
  3. Watch out for these side effects you may experience when eating lactation cookies – 7 Terrible Side Effects From Eating Lactation Cookies

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Save Money For Baby Tip - Buy a Breast Pump Using an HSA heath savings account
Must read tips to use an HSA health savings account to buy a breast pump.

References:

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p502#en_US_2018_publink1000256742

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/p969–2018.pdf

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