Healthy Money

Using Your HSA for Warm-Weather Safety

Staying prepared for the allergies, the bug bites, and of course, the various outdoor injuries that come with summer is a must. Pay to play with your HSA.
by Sarah Li Cain June 9, 2020

Warmer weather is upon us. This means more walks around the neighborhood, taking advantage of biking or hiking trails (where open), and of course, just lounging around in the sun. Lovely as this all sounds, when you get outside, little mishaps tend to happen. Just last week I twisted my ankle while on an evening stroll. Guess the town hasn’t filled those potholes yet…

It’s always a good idea to anticipate what you might need to spend your health savings account (HSA) funds on just in case.

Athletic Treatments

Even an activity that seems as straightforward as a quick run or bike ride might mean minor injuries or scrapes (see aforementioned mishap above). Luckily, ace bandages and OTC pain relievers are HSA-eligible. Phew.

Likewise, if you have kids and they’re active, walking or playing out in your yard could mean the need for items like bandaids and ice packs. And then there are the other items that you typically don’t need prescriptions for and are HSA-eligible, like arch support insoles (hey, runners), cold packs, and foot rollers.

Allergy Products

Even outside of fall and spring, which are generally prime allergy seasons, itchy eyes and runny noses remain a summertime battle for many. So if you’re out in the garden, or on a walk with the dog, or just living your life with all those mosquitoes and pollen in the air… we’re happy to report that allergy products like Benadryl and Zyrtec are HSA-eligible.

A quick note here that if you think your allergies might be serious, contact your health provider to schedule an appointment (telehealth is a great first step in this process… which is also HSA-eligible right now. Thanks, CARES Act!). Depending on how severe your allergies are, the more heavy-duty stuff like corticosteroids and inhalers will require a prescription but can be paid for with your HSA, too.

Sunscreen

You’ve been taught this since childhood, but no harm in a reminder, right? Sunscreen helps protect against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, which, over time, can cause harmful diseases like skin cancer. Anyone, regardless of age, gender, or race, can get skin cancer. So no matter how sure you are that you ‘don’t burn’, protecting yourself by applying sunscreen every day, especially during the summer, when the sun’s UV is highest, is paramount. 

Applying sunscreen 15 minutes prior to exposure and every two hours henceforward is a good rule of thumb. Luckily, lots of sunscreens are HSA-eligible. 

Year-round sun care is smart. Summertime sun care is essential. 

Massage Equipment

Big into long-distance running? Surfing a lot this season? Dealing with accompanying muscle aches? Set yourself up with items like massage rollers and electromagnetic massage units. They’re a great idea if you like to partake in those slightly more hardcore summer activities (I’m going to stick to my walks, but to each their own). In some cases, acupressure mats are also HSA-approved, though we suggest checking per-brand to make sure.

Items like these can be the difference between achy muscles, making it harder to do everyday tasks or feeling at ease next time you get out there to move and enjoy the weather.

Whether you’re minimally active or taking this summer to train for an Ironman, preventing injuries and ailments should always be top of mind. That’s why it pays to be prepared, and to budget for what you may need. Lucky for you, your HSAs got your back.

Take the first step
in taking care of you.