Did you know that breast pumps and breast pump accessories are eligible for FSA reimbursement? Here’s how FSA reimbursement for breast pumps works, plus a bunch of accessories that qualify.
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What is an FSA/HSA?
FSA stands for Flexible Savings Account, and HSA stands for Healthcare Savings Account. These accounts allow you to save money tax free to spend on medical expenses, such as contacts, glasses, and prescriptions. Breast pumps and breast pump accessories also qualify.
Most FSA and HSAs are administered through an employer. Normally, you set an amount that you plan to save in your FSA during your company’s open enrollment period, and then when the year begins, this amount starts to be deducted from your paycheck.
FSAs are “use it or lose it,” which means that you must spend all the money you allocated by the end of the year. (This means that if it’s getting close to the end of the year, you have money you need to spend, and you are a pumping mom, it’s a good time to stock up on gear!)
How do you use your FSA or HSA money?
There are a few ways you can spend the money that you’ve saved in your FSA.
Some FSA administrators will issue an FSA debit card that will allow you to spend money on items that are eligible for reimbursement. Then you don’t have to do anything else – the money just comes straight from your savings, with no need for receipts or additional documentation.
The other way that you can spend it is by buying it as you normally would, and then submitting a receipt to your administrator for reimbursement. I usually put my receipts in a folder all year and then spend an hour scanning them and uploading them to the system sometime in December. Note that a credit card statement is not usually sufficient; most administrators will require documented receipts.
11 Breastfeeding Products Eligible for FSA or HSA Reimbursement
Breast pumps and breast pump accessories qualify for FSA reimbursement. If you buy through the FSA store, all purchases are guaranteed to qualify for your FSA, or you can return them.
1. Breast Pumps
If you have health insurance in the United States, you should qualify for a free breast pump through insurance.
Getting a second pump can be really useful in a lot of situations. For example, if you pump at work, you can leave one at work and then have another you use at home when you need to, with no need to pack and carry it every day (and potentially forget something important, like your breast shields or your valves).
It can also be nice to have an everyday pump (say, a Medela Pump in Style), but then get a smaller, more portable pump for pumping on the go. You can even get an Elvie breast pump using your FSA!
2. Extra Breast Pump Parts
In addition to the pump itself, you may be able to get breast pump parts through your FSA.
Breast pump parts stop working as well over time – the parts can get microscopic tears, residue can build up, etc. As a result, it makes sense to replace each part on a regular basis.
3. Breastmilk Coolers
Breastmilk coolers can be very handy for transporting your breast milk home from work, for when you are traveling and need to bring a few bottles, or for pumping on the go.
Breastmilk storage bags are sterile bags that you can freeze breast milk in, usually up to 5 or 6 oz. (You can also store fresh breast milk in them, but because they are single-use, most people use bottles for fresh milk rather than bags.)
5. Hands-Free Pumping Bra
Using a hands-free pumping bra can be life-changing! Instead of spending an entire pumping session holding up your breast shields, you can spend the time working on a laptop, eating, or feeding your baby.
6. Medela Quick Clean Wipes
Medela Quick Clean wipes can be really useful when you have to do multiple pumping sessions away from home, without access to a sink.
7. Medela Steam Bags
I used these to sterilize my pump parts and bottles at work. All you need is access to water and a microwave.
8. Breast pads
There is nothing worse than leaking through your shirt. (Except maybe leaking through your shirt in public!)
9. Car Adapter or Portable Charger
Note: Make sure the voltage of the charger you get matches your pump! It normally says 9V or 12V on your pump power cord, and that’s the voltage you want to get.
10. Lactation Massager
(*Note: LaVie makes two lactation massagers – a smaller one with just vibration and a warming massager that has heat AND vibration. They are both super helpful – use the code EPUMP on their website for 10% off!)
11. Manual Breast Pump
Even if you already have an electric breast pump, getting a manual pump to use as a backup can be a good idea. It’s really useful to have if you power goes out or your pump breaks, and sometimes they can be more effective in working out clogged ducts.References
- FSA Store. “Breast Pump: FSA Eligibility.” https://fsastore.com/FSA-Eligibility-List/B/Breast-Pump-E100.aspx
- Helhoski, Anna. “Should I Get an FSA?” https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/health/what-is-flexible-spending-account/