Can I Use My Health Savings Account for Invisalign?

Can a health savings account be used toward Invisalign? I was supposed to have a series of medical procedures this coming year, so I opted to put a huge chunk into my HSA each paycheck. Unfortunately, I had to have everything done before the year was up. I’m allowed to drop my contribution, but I can’t increase it later if I do that. I’m really torn. The extra money would be nice, but I’ve also been holding off on orthodontics and I think if I can use my HSA for that, it’ll hold me accountable so I actually do it this year. What are the rules?



Dear Kirsty,

Yes! You’re in the clear.

Health Savings Accounts Let You Save Pre-Tax Money for Qualified Medical Expenses

An HSA is a great way to set aside cash for medical expenses. In short, you not only have money ready to go when you use one, but it comes out of your check before taxes do, which can lower your tax burden and give you some extra wiggle room. Interestingly, you can actually keep adding to your pool from this year until tax time next year and your savings rolls over indefinitely. That means you can load it up slowly if you’re on a tight budget and keep building until you have enough, or you can max it out now and be set for treatment this coming year. Employer plans vary, but you might be able to drop it down now and raise it back up again later. Doublecheck with your benefits department to be sure if that’s a concern of yours.

The IRS Gives Invisalign a Green Light

The IRS outlines what qualified medical expenses are, but it gives a whole lot of room. The official statement in Publication 502 is:

“You can include in medical expenses the amounts you pay for the prevention and alleviation of dental disease. Preventive treatment includes the services of a dental hygienist or dentist for such procedures as teeth cleaning, the application of sealants, and fluoride treatments to prevent tooth decay. Treatment to alleviate dental disease includes services of a dentist for procedures such as X-rays, fillings, braces, extractions, dentures, and other dental ailments.”

It does not allow for things like teeth whitening because they’re cosmetic, but orthodontics restore form and function. True, braces make your teeth look better as well, but they’re used to treat a dental ailment—misaligned teeth.

Have an Estimate and Pre-Authorization Done

Insurance companies can be finicky and may or may not apply your portion toward a deductible. It’s sometimes hard to tell what they’ll actually pay even if your plan is specific. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to go in for an Invisalign consultation ahead of time and have them send everything off to the insurance company before you start treatment. The earlier you do this, the earlier you’ll know just how much to stash in your HSA as well.

This blog is sponsored by Dr. Steve Sirin, an Elgin Invisalign provider.

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