Reimbursement From HSA for Personal Trainer?

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Reimbursement From HSA for Personal Trainer?

Postby jimmyrules712 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:17 am

I'm curios on this one. I recently discovered that you can use an HSA account to pay for a personal trainer if it is recommended by a doctor (sidenote: you cannot use an HSA to pay for gym fees). This year I spent several hundred dollars on a personal trainer at the recommendation of my doctor that I need to lose weight.

Can I give myself a reimbursement from my HSA account to pay for those personal trainer fees? I'm assuming I need to get a note from my doctor documenting the recommendation in case I get audited and need receipts of the payments to the gym. Would that cover me?

Thanks
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Re: Reimbursement From HSA for Personal Trainer?

Postby arthurb999 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:19 am

hmmm... would a doctor recommending massages for back pain count for hsa $$ too?
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Re: Reimbursement From HSA for Personal Trainer?

Postby cubedbee » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:33 am

Why your doctor recommended you lose weight is what's important:

You cannot include in medical expenses the cost of a weight-loss program if the purpose of the weight loss is the improvement of appearance, general health, or sense of well-being. You cannot include amounts you pay to lose weight unless the weight loss is a treatment for a specific disease diagnosed by a physician (such as obesity, hypertension, or heart disease).


http://www.irs.gov/publications/p502/ar ... 1000179085

I am a littler overweight and have borderline high blood pressure , and so my PCP told me he be happier if I lost 10 pounds last time I saw him. But I'd say that's just a general health recommendation---he hasn't diagnosed me with any disease (yet), losing weight is to prevent my vitals from worsening to the point of being diagnosed with obesity/hypertension.
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Re: Reimbursement From HSA for Personal Trainer?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:08 pm

My doctor told my wife to take a vacation... reimbursable???

Get real; you can exercise without using a trainer (I have one myself, but have not put in for reimbursement).
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Re: Reimbursement From HSA for Personal Trainer?

Postby jimmyrules712 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:17 pm

I think ya'll are missing the point. I'm not asking you to judge whether or not I have a legitimate health issue, that's between my doctor and I. For the sake of being polite can we assume that I do qualify under the IRS guidelines and consider my original question?

This is the condition that I think I meet: "Fees paid to personal trainers are qualified for reimbursement if recommended by a medical practitioner to treat a specific medical condition."

Please don't bother to post anything if you're just going to be critical because you may have an opinion that I shouldn't be allowed to get a reimbursement even though there are specific guidelines that allow it. I expected those kinds of responses elsewhere but I honestly though the people on this forum were more respectful.
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Re: Reimbursement From HSA for Personal Trainer?

Postby Colorado13 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:30 pm

arthurb999 wrote:hmmm... would a doctor recommending massages for back pain count for hsa $$ too?


My insurance, not an HSA, pays for massages, max of 12 a year, with a $15 copay. My back is often sore due to sitting at a desk job all day and from all of those pullups that Stoptothink recommends. :D I believe that medically necessary/Dr. prescribed massages as therapy are covered by an HSA, but I don't claim to be an expert (sorry that's not terribly helpful.) Massages can be effective preventative care but they are often not covered by insurance. Many insurance companies reimburse for costs of care after the illness/injury rather than preventative care (such as massages and possibly personal training) which seems problematic to me, but that is probably an entirely different topic for another day...
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Re: Reimbursement From HSA for Personal Trainer?

Postby joha31 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:53 pm

I got my DR to write me a note that sufficed for my insurance company. According to BMI (what a joke!), I am obese at 225lbs and 5'11". Little do they know I am at 15% body fat. I have trained hard to be this obese and I am happy the insurance company is finally doing something to assist me in attaining my extremly obese BMI, same BF of course. :wink:
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Re: Reimbursement From HSA for Personal Trainer?

Postby tadamsmar » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:09 pm

jimmyrules712 wrote:I'm curios on this one. I recently discovered that you can use an HSA account to pay for a personal trainer if it is recommended by a doctor (sidenote: you cannot use an HSA to pay for gym fees). This year I spent several hundred dollars on a personal trainer at the recommendation of my doctor that I need to lose weight.

Can I give myself a reimbursement from my HSA account to pay for those personal trainer fees? I'm assuming I need to get a note from my doctor documenting the recommendation in case I get audited and need receipts of the payments to the gym. Would that cover me?

Thanks


Look at IRS Pub 502.

For Weight-Loss programs, it needs to be specific treatment for a disease diagnosed by your doctor. I am not sure a prescription from your doctor dated after the treatment would pass an audit.
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Re: Reimbursement From HSA for Personal Trainer?

Postby englishgirl » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:16 pm

I don't see why it wouldn't be appropriate, if there's a specific guideline that says you can do it if your Dr. recommended it to deal with a specific problem.
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Re: Reimbursement From HSA for Personal Trainer?

Postby archbish99 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:29 pm

Yeah, that's a touchy area. I was diagnosed as obese, pre-hypertensive, and dyslipidemic. On that basis, I went through an intensive medical weight-loss program paid for by insurance plus an FSA. I'm doing okay keeping it off on my own so far, but if I needed a trainer to help out, I think there's more than sufficient documentation that it's medically warranted. Whether you can document the same if ever questioned is for you to decide -- there's not clear guidance on what does/doesn't validate a medical need.
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Re: Reimbursement From HSA for Personal Trainer?

Postby bluemarlin08 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:45 pm

I would think if it is medically necessary and not just a convenience they might allow.
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Re: Reimbursement From HSA for Personal Trainer?

Postby Sidney » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:07 pm

If you think you would eventually use the funds for something less in the grey area, why not file the receipts and wait. Unless you need the cash for some reason, why risk an assessment for no reason.
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.
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