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hsa question
Old 11-11-2015, 10:40 AM   #1
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hsa question

my wife is going to have surgery in december and we have an hsa account. can the funds from that be used for transportation expenses and motel room? we live in a small town and the closest place they can do this particular surgery is about 200 miles away and she will be in the hospital be in the hospital 5-7 days. thanks
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Old 11-11-2015, 10:49 AM   #2
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This mentions transportation for medical care and gives a link to the complete IRS document. Not sure about motel.

https://www.wellsfargo.com/investing...fied-expenses/
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Old 11-11-2015, 10:55 AM   #3
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Here is an easier link to Publication 502 (Wellsfargo's goes to a pdf): https://www.irs.gov/publications/p502/ar02.html

Look at "trips" and "lodging," which apply to your situation. If permissible, limited to $50 per person (patient +1) per day.
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:10 AM   #4
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From the IRS in Publication 502:

Quote:
You may be able to include in medical expenses the cost of lodging not provided in a hospital or similar institution. You can include the cost of such lodging while away from home if all of the following requirements are met.

The lodging is primarily for and essential to medical care.

The medical care is provided by a doctor in a licensed hospital or in a medical care facility related to, or the equivalent of, a licensed hospital.

The lodging is not lavish or extravagant under the circumstances.

There is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel away from home.

The amount you include in medical expenses for lodging cannot be more than $50 for each night for each person. You can include lodging for a person traveling with the person receiving the medical care. For example, if a parent is traveling with a sick child, up to $100 per night can be included as a medical expense for lodging. Meals are not included.
Based on the above and knowing that the facility is 200 miles away from home, yes, I suspect reimbursement of up to $50 per night would be reasonable.

If the surgical facility were within reasonable driving distance, it's questionable that it would be allowable since it might be considered "extravagant" and unnecessary per the Pub 502 guidelines. But 200 miles away is almost certainly a reasonable distance to claim a reimbursable lodging expense.
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Old 11-12-2015, 05:52 AM   #5
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thanks for the good advice. I read the publication and came away with the same thoughts. I bet the irs agents don't sleep in 50 dollar a night rooms. thanks again
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:16 AM   #6
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thanks for the good advice. I read the publication and came away with the same thoughts. I bet the irs agents don't sleep in 50 dollar a night rooms. thanks again
I wonder if this one of those things that hasn't been adjusted for inflation for a long time.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:52 AM   #7
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thanks for the good advice. I read the publication and came away with the same thoughts. I bet the irs agents don't sleep in 50 dollar a night rooms. thanks again
What can go wrong at a place called "Bates Motel"?
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Old 11-14-2015, 02:43 PM   #8
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I wonder if this one of those things that hasn't been adjusted for inflation for a long time.
X2 on this. I wonder why they didn't tie it to per diem rates? That would have been a simple way of dealing with inflation / location....
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Old 11-14-2015, 06:38 PM   #9
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I hope nobody minds if I threadjack, but it looks like the OP's question has been addressed and I have a different HSA question:

I will retire on 12/31 of this year from a layoff. Current employer provided healthcare is a HDHP which is HSA eligible. One of my layoff benefits is 3 months of company paid COBRA in my existing health plan. In April 2016 at the conclusion of this period I'll transition to a retiree medical plan that is a traditional BCBS PPO plan that is not HSA eligible.

My question is whether I can partially or completely fund a 2016 HSA during the 3 months during which I'll be eligible.
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