HR ADVISOR


Are prescription sunglasses an eligible FSA, HSA, or HRA expense?

Short Answer

Yes, as long as the sunglasses have prescription lenses and were not bought over the counter.

Relevant Federal Regulations

When it comes to employee health benefits, eligible medical expenses generally include all services and supplies for the employee (or plan member) and their eligible dependents that are used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease. To be sure, check with your plan administrator for special guidance on individual situations.

IRS form 969, which explains FSAs, HSAs, HRAs, and other tax-favored health plans, states that medical procedures are eligible if they are considered medical expenses by IRS form 502. That would cover prescription lenses whether they would be used in sunglasses, regular glasses or contacts.

One Thing to Remember

It's very important to establish with the employee when the expenses were incurred. Any medical expenses will not qualify if they were incurred prior to the date that the employee established the HSA or similar account.

Also, check HSA state laws on changes to HSA law at the state level.

Helpful Links:

IRS Publication 969 – Here are online IRS publications covering the federal rules on your FSA, HSA, and HRA.

IRS Publication 502 - Here are the IRS guidelines on medical and dental expenses.

National Conference of State Legislators - Health Savings Accounts – This site covers changes to HSA laws at the state level.

Karen Gracey
Manager, Benefits Advisors
Posted on Feb. 6, 2017, 4:16 p.m.
Disclaimer: The answers and information on HR Answers serve as basic guidelines and are for informational purposes only. While our goal is always to provide useful content, we are unable to provide legal, tax, or fact-specific human resources advice and encourage you to speak with your legal counsel, tax advisor, or human resources professional to understand how this information applies to you.