IRS Reminder: Not All Health Expenses Qualify for Deductions

IRS Reminder: Not All Health Expenses Qualify for Deductions

In a recent news release, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reiterated important guidelines regarding the eligibility of health and wellness expenses for deductions and reimbursements under health Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs).

What Qualifies as a Medical Expense? According to the IRS, for an expense to be considered a medical expense under Code § 213, it must be directly related to the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or must affect the structure or function of the body. This definition excludes expenses that are solely for general health benefits.

The Risk of Nonmedical Reimbursements: The IRS warns that if health FSAs or other account-based health plans reimburse nonmedical expenses, it could result in all plan payments, including those for legitimate medical expenses, being included in participants’ taxable income.

Misleading Claims and the Importance of Diagnosis-Specific Documentation: The IRS has expressed concerns about companies misleading individuals by suggesting that a doctor’s note can transform general food and wellness expenses into medical expenses. However, without a clear connection to a diagnosis-specific treatment or activity, these expenses do not qualify as medical expenses.

Case in Point: The Denied Claim Highlighting the issue, the IRS shared an instance where an individual with diabetes was denied reimbursement for healthy food expenses through his health FSA. Despite obtaining a doctor’s note from a company that advertised such services, the claim was rejected because the food did not meet the criteria for a medical expense.

Guidance for Taxpayers: For those seeking clarity on what constitutes a reimbursable medical expense, the IRS points to its FAQs on nutrition, wellness, and general health expenses. These resources clarify that food or beverages purchased for health reasons, such as weight loss, can only be reimbursed if they do not fulfill normal nutritional needs, are used to alleviate or treat an illness, and are substantiated by a physician’s prescription.

Understanding the fine line between general wellness and medical care is crucial for taxpayers and plan administrators. As the IRS emphasizes, only expenses that meet the stringent criteria set forth in the Code will be considered for deductions and reimbursements, ensuring the integrity of health-related financial plans.

Source: Thomson Reuters

IRS Reminder: Not All Health Expenses Qualify for Deductions

Broker Builder Solutions Names NueSynergy a Preferred PartnerBroker

LEAWOOD, Kansas – NueSynergy, Inc., one of the nation’s fastest growing employee benefits and billing administrators in the country, is pleased to announce its preferred partnership with Broker Builder Solutions (BBS), a national leader in support services for the benefits and technology industry.

“NueSynergy is an industry partner that reflects our shared commitment to solution-oriented strategies for benefits brokers and Human Resource professionals within the employee benefits sector,” said Tonya Taylor, Marketing Leader and Client Relationship Liaison at BBS. This alliance leverages both teams’ expertise to educate clients and effectively provide solutions to their benefits administration and technology challenges. Our shared foundation of outgoing and professional staff is crucial in delivering excellence to the industry and the companies we serve. Through this collaboration, BBS looks forward to expanding our network of trusted benefits professionals.”

NueSynergy continues to achieve exceptional business results with innovative products like its SpouseSaver Incentive Account and COBRAcare+ administration. NueSynergy will work with BBS to offer agents and agencies a wide variety of administrative services for their new and existing employer clients.

“After investing heavily in technology and expansion of our overall infrastructure, NueSynergy has concentrated on partnering with well-known benefits leaders as we continue to expand our nationwide presence,” said Josh Collins, President of NueSynergy. “As we continue to focus on industry-leading service and expanding administration solutions for employers, we have found Broker Builder Solutions to be a natural fit in helping us build new broker and client relationships.”

About NueSynergy
NueSynergy is known for industry-leading service, innovative technology, and excellence in providing full-service administration of consumer-driven and traditional account-based plans to employers of all sizes and sectors. Headquartered in Leawood, Kansas, NueSynergy also has locations in Arizona, Florida, Idaho, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and Rzeszów, Poland.

NueSynergy offers a fully integrated suite of administration services, which include Health Savings Account (HSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Lifestyle Savings Account (LSA), and COBRAcare+ administration as well as SpouseSaver Incentive Account, Combined Billing, Direct Billing, and Specialty Solutions. For more information, visit www.NueSynergy.com.

About Broker Builder Solutions
Broker Builder Solutions is dedicated to assisting organizations with their benefits administration needs. Whether setting up a new benefits administration platform or maintaining/leveraging an existing platform, BBS can help. With over 15 years of benefit administration experience, the BBS team are experts in leveraging Ben Admin platforms to provide seamless implementations and carrier file transmissions. But their most important win is fostering positive and long-lasting relationships with all organizations across the benefits industry ecosystem.

BBS has expertise in Client Implementation, 834 EDI File Implementation, Carrier and Payroll Integrations,
Eligibility Maintenance Support, ACA Reporting, and Data Migration support for cross platform transitions.
For more information, visit www.brokerbuildersolutions.com.

IRS Reminder: Not All Health Expenses Qualify for Deductions

Agency RFI Focuses on No-Cost Coverage of OTC Preventive Products Without a Prescription

A DOL, HHS, and IRS request for information (RFI) is seeking input about how the preventive health services mandate applies to over-the-counter (OTC) preventive items and services, including the potential benefits and costs of requiring plans and insurers to cover these items at no cost without a provider’s prescription. Agency guidance has previously advised that OTC items and services generally must be covered without cost-sharing only when prescribed by a provider.

The RFI seeks information on current access to and utilization of OTC preventive products, as well as operational challenges for plans, insurers, third-party administrators, and pharmacy benefit managers. For instance, the request asks about operational challenges that may be associated with using telepharmacies and mail orders within and across states or localities. The agencies are also interested in “lessons learned” from providing coverage for OTC COVID-19 diagnostic tests during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The RFI explains that the agencies are particularly focused on OTC preventive care items that can be purchased without a prescription now or in the future, such as contraceptives, tobacco-cessation products, folic acid during pregnancy, and breastfeeding supplies.

Click here for the full request.

Source: Thomson Reuters

IRS Reminder: Not All Health Expenses Qualify for Deductions

EBenefitsHub Announces NueSynergy as Exclusive National Core Partner

ORLANDO, Florida – EBenefitsHub is pleased to announce its addition of NueSynergy as an Exclusive National Core Partner. “We are excited to include the fully integrated suite of administration services assembled by Josh Collins, President, and the rest of the NueSynergy team over the past 27 years,” said EBenefitsHub Founder and CEO, Nick Gregory, ChWE. “NueSynergy has earned respect for its industry-leading service, innovative technology, and excellence in providing full-service administration of consumer-driven and traditional account-based plans among other solutions.”:

Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Reimbursement Arrangements, Health Savings Accounts, Lifestyle Spending Accounts, SpouseSaver Incentive Accounts, COBRAcare+ Administration, Premium Only Plans, Combined Billing, Direct Billing, and Private Label Solutions.

“NueSynergy continues to expand its national presence by offering a wide variety of forward-thinking, employer-centric products and services,” said Josh Collins, president of NueSynergy. “It’s important for us to work alongside an elite and diverse group of reputable companies to build solutions and long-term relationships for our mutual clients.”

With this announcement, NueSynergy joins a collection of exclusive, best-of-breed CorePartner organizations to provide services and products to BenefitsPros across the country. The result is the fusion of advanced knowledge, experience, services, technology, and products to create a synchronized hub for BenefitsPros and their business clients.

“We have engineered a modernized suite of snap-on digital solutions coupled with an arsenal of resources necessary for employee benefits providers to prevail within today’s competitively complex employee benefits landscape,” said Nick Gregory. “BenefitsPros can design and build their digital benefits hub . . . as they wish.

“With the help of NueSynergy and our other CorePartners, BenefitsPros can embrace the digital revolution, bridging the gaps while cutting away the bad plumbing of detached digital and manual processes . . . their way. They can neutralize competitors, expand client offerings, harvest more clients, and future-proof success. In a sea of sameness, BenefitsPros can brand, position, and differentiate to create an unfair advantage.”

About NueSynergy

NueSynergy, Inc., a privately held company, is one of the nation’s fastest growing employee benefits and billing administrators in the country. Headquartered in Leawood, Kansas, NueSynergy also has locations in Arizona, Florida, Idaho, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and Rzeszów, Poland.

NueSynergy offers a fully integrated suite of administration services, which include Health Savings Account (HSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Lifestyle Savings Account (LSA), and COBRAcare+ administration as well as SpouseSaver Incentive Account, Combined Billing, Direct Billing, and Specialty Solutions. For more information, visit www.NueSynergy.com.

About EBenefitsHub

EBenefitsHub has engineered a modernized suite of snap-on digital solutions synchronized within its holistic EBHub Dashboard and “white label” All-In-One MobileFirst App. The EBHub “ecosystem” is coupled with an arsenal of resources necessary for benefits professionals to prevail within today’s competitively complex benefits landscape. BenefitsPros can design/build their digital benefits hubs . . . on their terms. With the help of EBHub CorePartners, BenefitsPros can embrace the digital revolution; bridging the gaps while cutting away the bad plumbing of detached digital and manual processes.

They can neutralize competitors, expand client offerings, harvest more clients and future-proof success. In a sea of sameness, BenefitsPros can brand, position and differentiate to create an unfair advantage. The result is seamlessly harmonized employee benefits, engagement and communications, merged into a powerfully holistic platform for BenefitsPros and their clients:

Design • Quote • Present • Enroll • Engage • Communicate • Enhance Renew • Manage

Learn more: MyEBenefitshub.com Grow@MyEBenefitshub.com 407-878-3520

IRS FAQs Explain When Health FSAs, HSAs, or HRAs Can Reimburse Nutrition, Wellness, and General Health Expenses

IRS FAQs Explain When Health FSAs, HSAs, or HRAs Can Reimburse Nutrition, Wellness, and General Health Expenses

The IRS has issued FAQs that explain when certain costs related to nutrition, wellness, and general health are medical expenses under Code § 213 that may be paid or reimbursed under a health FSA, HSA, or HRA. As background, Code § 213 defines medical care as amounts paid for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting a structure or function of the body. The FAQs explain that medical expenses must be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental disability or illness, and do not include expenses that are merely beneficial to general health. 

The FAQs confirm that the costs of dental, eye, and physical exams are medical expenses that can be paid or reimbursed by a health FSA, HSA, or HRA because these exams diagnose whether a disease or illness is present. The costs of smoking cessation programs and programs that treat drug-related substance use or alcohol use disorders are also medical expenses because they treat a disease. For the cost of therapy to be a medical expense, the therapy must treat a disease—thus, amounts paid for therapy to treat a diagnosed mental illness are medical expenses, while amounts paid for marital counseling are not. Likewise, the costs of nutritional counseling and weight-loss programs are medical expenses only if the counseling or program treats a specific disease diagnosed by a physician (e.g., obesity or diabetes); otherwise, these costs are not medical expenses. The cost of a gym membership is a medical expense only if the membership was purchased for the sole purpose of affecting a structure or function of the body (e.g., a prescribed plan for physical therapy to treat an injury) or treating a specific disease diagnosed by a physician (e.g., obesity or heart disease). However, the cost of exercise for the improvement of general health is not a medical expense, even if recommended by a doctor. 

The FAQs also explain the circumstances under which the cost of food or beverages purchased for weight loss or other health reasons will qualify as medical expenses, and that the cost of non-prescription drugs can be paid or reimbursed by a health FSA, HSA, or HRA even though these items (except for insulin) are not deductible under Code § 213. The FAQs confirm that the cost of nutritional supplements is not a medical expense unless the supplements are recommended by a medical practitioner as treatment for a specific medical condition diagnosed by a physician. 

Source: Thomson Reuters 

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Understanding IRS Rules: The Importance of Substantiating Health FSA and DCAP Claims

Understanding IRS Rules: The Importance of Substantiating Health FSA and DCAP Claims

Introduction In the realm of cafeteria plans, health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Dependent Care Assistance Programs (DCAPs) play a ...

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