If you or a loved one is planning to undergo weight loss surgery, you may be asking yourself, “Are bariatric vitamins covered by FSA?”
It is well-known that vitamins, specifically bariatric vitamins, are a must after weight loss surgery.
In order to lose weight and keep it off in the long term, the bariatric surgeon removes part of the stomach. This results in a much smaller stomach pouch. Although this is not true for every type of surgery, it is the general procedure.
Due to the restrictive nature of the procedures, your body won’t absorb enough nutrients following the surgery through diet alone. Bariatric vitamins provide your body with the necessary vitamins and minerals you need to maintain your health.
Let’s take a look at whether or not bariatric vitamins are covered by FSA.
What is FSA?
FSA stands for Flexible Spending Account, however, they are also referred to as flexible spending arrangements.
They are special bank accounts that allow you to save up money for medical expenses, without having it taxed. FSAs are a great savings option for anyone who has regular medical expenses.
Bariatric vitamins and FSA: Are they covered?
Long story short, most vitamins are not covered under FSA. While in some cases you can use your account for your weight loss surgery, there are only two vitamin types that are covered under FSA: prenatal and glucosamine/chondroitin supplements.
The eligibility of a product or service for FSA is determined by the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Internal Revenue Code Section 213(d). The code reads as follows:
“The term ‘medical care’ means amounts paid— for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body.”
Although it may seem like vitamins would be covered under this code, they aren’t. This is because they have been deemed a product for general health and thus aren’t treating a specific medical condition.
What if my bariatric vitamins were prescribed to me?
When a vitamin is specifically prescribed to treat a medical condition, the rules around its eligibility change. In most cases, prescriptions are an eligible expense because they are treating something specific. If you believe that your bariatric vitamins and supplements fall under this category, you may need to provide a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN). This letter must contain information that shows that the vitamins are necessary for the treatment of a health condition.
This is more likely to be approved if the patient is suffering from obesity-related health problems and utilizes the procedure to help mitigate them.
WeightWise: Bariatric Surgery in Oklahoma
If you are suffering from obesity-related health problems that cannot be mitigated by diet and exercise, weight loss surgery might be for you. The expert surgeons at WeightWise offer a number of procedures to best serve our varying patients. This includes but isn’t limited to gastric bypass, adjustable gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy, and more.