A:

Typically, health care flexible spending accounts (FSAs) cover chiropractic treatments, as these treatments are often considered to be essential health benefits for patients. There are a number of wellness-related expenses that may be associated with health that are not covered by FSAs, such as gym memberships, tanning or veterinary fees.

Types of Alternative Medicine

Chiropractic care falls under the category of alternative medicine, which includes healing techniques that use touch – methods that involve physical contact or manipulation of the body. Also included in this category are osteopathic medicine, massage, tai chi, acupuncture and yoga. Alternative medicine that is not touch- or movement-centric encompasses a wide range of treatment options, including homeopathy, naturopathy, yoga, Ayurveda, hypnosis, herbal medicine, meditation and reiki.

Letters of Medical Necessity (LOMN)

Body-specific alternative medicine is the most common alternative medicine category that health care FSAs cover. However, it is not uncommon for a beneficiary to submit a letter signed by his doctor verifying that an alternative health care-related expense is a medically necessary treatment for a known medical condition. These letters are known as letters of medical necessity (LOMNs). An LOMN can be submitted on a health care professional's prescription pad or by filling out an LOMN form, and they must include a diagnosis and description of the medical condition for which the patient is being treated, along with how the identified treatment will help to address the symptoms associated with the condition.

LOMNs and Other Alternative Medicine

Chiropractic care often does not require an LOMN. However, the types of alternative medicine that may be eligible for reimbursement via an LOMN include the general category of alternative medicine and alternative healers that may provide a way around the traditional health care FSA guidelines.

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