“Flexible”, “Medical” & “Health” Savings Accounts Can Mean Discounts on Hyperhidrosis Expenditures
Here’s How You Can $ave on Your Antiperspirants & Other Necessary Sweat-Busters
This has been an unusual year and many of us are feeling financially insecure, among other things. So, as part of Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month 2020, we want to pass along some tips to help excessive sweating sufferers with both money management and sweat management. From over-the-counter products (like antiperspirants) and prescription treatments to at-home use medical devices (like iontophoresis machines) and procedures (like miraDry), discounts are out there.
First, check our Fan Faves to find deals on specialized sweat-management items exclusively for the International Hyperhidrosis Society community.
Next, learn about special savings accounts for health-related fees you incur. By using pre-tax dollars, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) or “medical” savings accounts can save you approximately 30% (U.S. estimate) on your eligible medical, pharmaceutical, dental, and eye care costs. Approximately 13% of Americans have FSAs and 17% have HSAs. Such accounts are also available in China, Europe, Singapore, and South Africa. The main challenges to accessing or opening one of these accounts are:
1) Figuring out if your country has these sorts of accounts. (You can start by asking your bank or someone in the human resources department at your employer.)
2) Learning how to open one either through your employer (again, ask your human resources department) or on your own (ask your bank if they offer such accounts).
3) Deciding how much money to set aside in the account. (Check out this calculator.)
Flexible, health, or medical savings accounts are useful for saving money on medical insurance copayments, deductibles, prescriptions, and medical devices because they allow you to pay for these items using funds you’ve set-aside before taxes. In the U.S., essential non-prescription, over-the-counter (OTC) products now also qualify for reimbursement from pre-tax, health savings accounts. This is part of the U.S. government’s “CARES Act” (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act), which reinstated FSA reimbursement for some OTC products purchased after Jan. 1, 2020 (find those old receipts).
Select OTC items are almost automatically reimbursed (including first aid items), but to get your sweat-management products covered, you’ll likely have to get a letter of medical necessity from your healthcare provider. In the letter, your healthcare provider should clearly explain that the product you’re using helps to treat, manage, or prevent your extreme sweating (hyperhidrosis) symptoms and outline how the product plays a critical part in your care. (Keep in mind, also, that letters of medical necessity are very useful in getting prescription hyperhidrosis treatments covered by insurance.)
Here’s a basic how-to for using flexible, health, or medical savings accounts to save money on hyperhidrosis out-of-pocket costs (assuming you have one of these accounts already):
- Ask your benefits administrator, human resources department or bank if there is a form you should use to get an Rx medicine or device, procedure, OTC product, or other out-of-pocket medical-related fee approved as an FSA expense.
- If there is not a form, ask your healthcare provider to write a letter of medical necessity (sample here). This letter should include: the name of the medical condition (like hyperhidrosis), the product(s)/services that are currently being used to treat/manage it (like antiperspirants or iontophoresis devices), a description of the recommended regimen based on treatment history, and how long you are expected to require it (perhaps it’s ongoing).
- Submit the letter or form with your carefully-saved receipts to be reimbursed.
To help make your letter of medical necessity from your doctor more effective, and less likely to require a back-and-forth, make sure it includes the following and is re-submitted annually:
- Medical office letterhead/prescription pad. Or, the right form.
- Diagnosis/condition and the product/service being required based on treatment history.
- Dose, frequency, and duration of therapy, as applicable.
- Signature of licensed medical practitioner.
It’s also useful to: (1) Initiate a discussion with your healthcare provider regarding possible FSA-eligible products ahead of time - consider an email, phone call, or tele-visit (2) Start a “medical costs” folder or envelope so you can keep potentially FSA-eligible receipts and invoices organized (3) Create a place on your computer for digital receipts (4) Log an appointment in your calendar to routinely file your FSA claims for reimbursement every few months.
Final money-saving tips for the day: Check out the financial assistance programs and medical insurance-related resources available specifically related to Botox, Qbrexza and iontophoresis treatment. And check out our general insurance resources.
We hope you learned something and can save some money using these Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month insights! For more savings, don’t forget to check out the products and discounts for our community here.
The International Hyperhidrosis Society acknowledges the generosity of individual donors, Brickell Biotech, Duradry and Dermira Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company) whose support has helped make our 2020 Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month initiatives possible.