By Using These Pre-Tax Healthcare Saving Accounts You Can Potentially Make Pumping More Affordable
The breast pump, the parts, the pumping bras, the extra pieces, milk storage containers -- it can all add up. There are a few ways that you can save some money on these items, including through Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts. In this post, we’ll walk you through them and how you can use them to purchase what you need for pumping.
What Are These Accounts?
HSAs and FSAs are two options that many employers and insurance plans offer to help families budget the cost of their healthcare and personal care products.
We’ll break these two accounts down shortly, but if you’d like a helpful chart that breaks down the differences between these two accounts, NerdWallet has a good one here.
An HSA is a special type of savings account. You can put money into this account before taxes are taken out of your paycheck. This lowers your taxable income, which saves you money. HSA accounts are not available for everyone. To be eligible for one, you need to have an insurance plan that has little upfront costs. These are typically plans that have a low monthly cost but a high deductible. This is sometimes called an HDHP or High Deductible Health Plan. The money you set aside here can only be used for health related expenses. This can include doctor’s visits, glasses or contacts, medical devices, and even certain personal care items.
Another benefit to some of these plans is that the money can also be invested. So if your family had a great health year and you didn’t use all of the funds in your account, depending on who manages this account, you can invest the money. This differs by account so it’s best to reach out to the company or bank who manages the HSA. This might be referred to as the account “custodian.”
FSAs are a little bit different. While HSAs are offered through an insurance provider, FSAs are offered by your employer. This means you cannot get one on the open market or on your own. The money you put into this account is also taken out of your paycheck before taxes which helps save you money. And the ways you can use this money are very similar.
The other main difference with FSA accounts is that any money you do not use at the end of the year is forfeited. This means that you should budget your healthcare expenses for the year before deciding how much money to put into this account.
Using an HSA Or FSA to Purchase Your Breast Pump and Parts:
As we said before, each account and insurance plan is a bit different. Some will cover certain things that others do not. When in doubt, be sure to contact your HR office or your insurance provider for accurate and up to date information.
Most insurance plans will cover a breast pump. They might not cover every pump on the market, but you can at least get a pump in most cases. Many policies cover major pumps like the Medela brand. They might not cover a hands free pump, or they may cover part of the cost.
If your insurance plan doesn’t cover a pump, or cover the pump you would like, you might be able to use money you have set aside in an HSA or FSA to purchase it. Breast pumps now carry the designation of a medical device. So for the same reason that you can bring it through an airport, you can get the cost or a portion of the cost covered.
Yes, pumps generally come with flanges, tubing, valves or membranes, the things you need to actually use the pump. However, you might need a different size flange than what is offered with the pump. And other parts break down over time. Having a second set of these parts can also make pumping that much easier for busy moms. This means you aren’t forced to wash your one set of parts after each and every use, saving time as well as money. Then, there are accessories that make pumping easier, or more comfortable, like our Breast Pump Cushions.
More and more of these items are now achieving the designation needed to be eligible for your HSA and/or FSA spending. And the good news: BeauGen Cushions are now eligible! Junobie’s reusable Breast Milk Storage Bags are also eligible. Simply click this link to shop the cushions and use your account’s card at checkout.
When in Doubt, Ask.
As moms, we are super busy and don’t necessarily have time to track down details or wade through a complex website. The best advice we can give you is to reach out to your insurance company, or employer with questions about what accounts are available to you, what is covered, and how to use them. This will save you from having to track down the information on your own, potentially receiving inaccurate or outdated information.