Flexible Spending Accounts and Orthopedic Footwear. What you need to know.

 

Flexible Spending Accounts or FSA’s as they are known, are medical savings accounts often set up by employers to help their employees budget for medical, dental, dependent care or child care expenses. Contributions to the account are deposited to  prior to payroll taxes being deducted. There are no monthly or yearly maintenance fees or charges to use the account but it’s a use it or lose it scenario come the end of the year. Your FSA savings can be used in any way you chose so long as it’s health care or dependent care related.

 

Can I use my Flexible Spending Account Insurance for orthopedic footwear?    

 

 Short Answer:

 

 Yes with a note from your doctor stating the need, you can buy orthopedic footwear from a vendor who is compliant with the terms and conditions of accepting payment using your FSA.

 

 Long Answer:

 

 Under certain circumstances if there is a medical condition substantiated with a physician's note, then additional cost of orthopedic footwear can be covered by an FSA

 

 For orthopedic shoes and inserts, you can only be reimbursed for the extra cost over buying non-orthopedic shoes when accompanied by a medical practitioner’s note and must be used to treat a specific medical condition of limited duration. There must also be paperwork on file to support the claim.

 

 Claims substantiation: The participant must submit adequate claim substantiation. The receipt must state the name of the product the purchase date and the amount paid. The participant must sign the reimbursement form indicating that the claim was for the individual, their spouse, or eligible dependent. The physician’s note must state the precise medical condition.

 

 Where Can I go to buy Orthopedic Footwear and use my FSA?

 

 The best way to buy orthopedic footwear is to be fitted professionally. The best qualified person to fit orthopedic footwear is either a Podiatrist, a Certified Pedorthist ( C.Ped) or a Prosthetic and Orthotic Professional (CPO or CO)  To find an accredited facility near you visit the American Board for Certification on Prosthetics, Orthotic and Pedorthics

 

What’s the process for using my FSA for Orthopedic Footwear?

 

The first step is to visit your local Podiatrist for an evaluation of your medical need. The Podiatrist will then be able to evaluate what you need and if the Podiatrist can accept an FSA payment will be able to order the product directly from the manufacturer. It could be that just an accommodative orthopedic shoe and insert is all that is required to alleviate your foot pain. It could be that there is need for a combination of an accommodative orthopedic shoe along with a functional orthotic. The orthotic might need to be custom made which are quite a bit more expensive than an over the counter device. Your doctor will be able to review those options with you. If your Podiatrist does not fit footwear (some do not) then they should be able to direct you to a Pedorthic or Orthotic and Prosthetic (O&P) facility that does, but be sure to get the doctor’s letter of necessity before you leave their office for the provider for their files so they can charge your order to the FSA.