Are Prescription Sunglasses an Eligible FSA, HSA, or HRA expense?

Unsure if your sunglasses are covered by insurance? Learn what caveats apply to make your sunnies an eligible benefits expense.

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Short Answer

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

Relevant Federal Regulations

Generally, eligible medical expenses 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.

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.

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