How Student Athletes Can Benefit From an HSA

Student athletes are no strangers to the medical world. They frequently get injured and usually have a doctor on speed dial. They know the difference between a serious injury and something that'll go away with ice and rest.

But are you aware that your all star can benefit from an HSA? That'll help you save money on doctor's visits, sports injury supplies and more!

Massage and acupuncture

If a doctor recommends massage for a lingering injury, you may be able to use your HSA to pay for it (unfortunately massages just for relaxation won't qualify). Alternatives such as acupuncture, however, are fully eligible and help with related issues.

Chiropractor visits are also eligible with an HSA.

Pain relief and workout recovery supplies

Athletes who train frequently go through a lot of supplies, many of which are qualified medical expenses. If they need kinesiology tape, ibuprofen, or an ice pack to relieve their latest injury, we've got it.

Common sports-related purchases that are also eligible for HSA reimbursement include braces and compression socks.

Doctor's visits

A tweaked knee during preseason training? Use your HSA to pay for a visit to a physical therapist or sports medicine doctor. Any medical professional you visit is eligible under your HSA (provided that the service you receive is eligible as well). You can also use your HSA for specific travel expenses such as reimbursement of medical mileage related to a doctor's visit, especially useful if you're visiting a specialist whose office is 45 minutes away.

If extensive surgery or rehab is needed after a sports injury, consider maxing out your HSA. Currently, the annual contribution limit is $3,850 for individuals and $7,750 for families. Paying for ACL repair surgery with your HSA will take the sting out of the operation, since you'll get a nice tax deduction at the end of the year. If frequent injury is the case, think about contributing a set amount each month to your HSA so you're always prepared.

Sports psychology

Burnout and performance anxiety are very real, a visit to a sports psychologist can clear their head. Fortunately, mental health is covered by HSAs through a psychologist, psychiatrist, or licensed clinical social worker. Any anxiety or depression medication recommended by the physician will also fall under your HSA's purview.

How to get expenses reimbursed

You can use your HSA debit card directly to pay for qualified medical expenses or you can use another account and reimburse yourself later. Remember to keep all relevant receipts in case the IRS asks you to prove those expenses were HSA eligible.

You might even want to scan them digitally since many paper receipts will age quickly and become illegible. Store receipts somewhere safe like a secured cloud server, so you can always find them easily. Your doctors will also usually keep copies of records, though you shouldn't rely on them exclusively.

What you can't use an HSA for

Unfortunately, not every athletic endeavor can be paid for with an HSA. Gym memberships, protein powders, nutritional supplements, and private trainers are not HSA eligible, unless your doctor or medical professional has specifically prescribed them to fix a medical condition.


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