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7 Pregnancy Purchases You Can Use Your HSA Money For

Photograph by Twenty20

Whether you're expecting your first or your fourth, I'm ready to wager that you have money on your mind. Between maternity leave, baby essentials and planning for college down the road, there's so much to consider. It get definitely can become overwhelming. Luckily, I discovered a hidden gem in the savings department during my last pregnancy: HSA funds.

If you're unfamiliar with what HSA funds are, I'll give you the the 411. Health savings accounts, commonly known as HSA, are linked to high deductible health insurance plans. These funds avoid federal income tax and thus you get to "shop" with pre-tax money for approved medical expenses. Sometimes you personally contribute to this account, sometimes your employer does and sometimes you both do. However the money gets there, it's wise to put it to use with approved purchases.

And much to my surprise, I learned that there are quite a few things I was planning to purchase that I could use these tax-free dollars for. And saving money, even in the smallest ways, all adds up.

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Sounds awesome, right? But there's a catch: HSA funds can only be used for specific IRS-approved medical expenses. It’s not a free-for-all for any purchase you or I deem health-related. The list of IRS-approved purchases is pretty extensive and not all of it is clear. But in most cases, the pairing of a doctor's prescription and the adjoining receipt for your purchase will keep you safe when it comes to tax time.

So if you're planning a pregnancy, currently experiencing one, or on the brink of postpartum, it's time to maximize those dollars because there are so many options when it comes to approved purchases related to pregnancy.

Pregnancy Tests and Fertility Monitors

Feel free to stock up and fund your pee sticks and ovulation kits with HSA money. I missed this savings, but have definitely been sharing with my friends that their very first pregnancy purchases are HSA-approved.

Acupuncture

If your baby is breech or if you’re hoping to induce labor naturally, consider acupuncture. I did this with my third baby and 24 hours after my second session baby was on his way. I also learned from my acupuncturist that they have a great track record with lactation support.

Tubing, bags, membranes … if it relates to your breast pump, HSA funds are there for you to use.

Birth Classes

If Lamaze or another birth course is on your pregnancy to-do list, ask your doctor to prescribe it. These classes technically fall in the gray area within the HSA world but with a prescription it gets the stamp of "medically necessary" and is thus, approved. Other gray areas that become OK with a prescription or letter of medical necessity from your doctor are massage, cord blood storage, supplements and more.

Breast Pumps and Supplies

Tubing, bags, membranes … if it relates to your breast pump, HSA funds are there for you to use.

Chiropractic Care

My body stresses out when I’m pregnant and gets all sorts of wacky. Chiropractic care keeps my pain and discomfort to a minimum, and also primes baby for ideal birth alignment. If my HSA could only cover one thing, this is what I would choose.

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Insurance Premiums

Co-pays and bills related to your maternity coverage can be paid for with HSA funds. So, on the year(s) of your pregnancy/birth be sure to calculate possible expenses and max out your HSA contributions if it all adds up. HSA funds roll over from year to year though, so don’t stress about being super exact.

Thermometers

Random, but totally approved. Buy a great one that is recommended for infants. You’ll definitely want a simple and accurate one for your baby’s first years.

And, when the time comes, HSA funds can be used for sterilization and/or vasectomy expenses, so pad your HSA account the year you decide to end your baby-making days.

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