Since a lot of us are inclined to choose the best office chair that prevents back and neck pain, it’s worth asking, will my insurance cover this?
In most cases, yes, but the catch is that you will most likely have to pay out of pocket first and then get it reimbursed.
This isn’t such a bad arrangement since we will still get our money back. And if it comes to the process of getting it reimbursed, it’s not as hard as a lot of people think it is.
But to anyone who hasn’t heard of this before, the process to have your office chairs covered might be complicated.
So to guide you through this, we’ve come up with the most common questions asked about office chairs and insurance.
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Are office chairs HSA eligible?
Yes and no – yes, an office chair is HSA eligible if and only if it’s an ergonomic chair and if it’s prescribed by your doctor or chiropractor.
Otherwise, you might have a hard time claiming with your insurance provider.
This is mainly because the HSA was built to answer medical expenses.
It was meant to serve as a savings account for you to deduct medicines, physical therapy sessions, and other related medical expenses.
So naturally, if your doctor is going to prescribe that your current office chair is bad for your health (or posture), then it could be eligible to be covered by your HSA.
What is HSA?
HSA or Health Savings Account is a savings account from pre-tax contributions for people who have high deductible health plans (HDHPs).
The money in your HSA can come from you, your employer, and your relatives.
However, the sole owner of this account is you. And even if you change jobs, this account stays with you and not your employer (unlike FSA accounts).
HSA can be used to pay for things that improve your health, hence, office chairs or any other office equipment contributing to your health and wellness is covered.
And the good thing about HSA is that you get to manage the funds. In other words, you get to decide which medical bills will be covered in this account.
Will insurance cover office chairs?
Yes, your insurance can cover office chairs especially if they are ergonomic and proven to be helpful to your health.
According to a recent study, a non-ergonomic chair could lead to musculoskeletal pains especially when the chair doesn’t reinforce sitting straight and it doesn’t have any lumbar support.
Some worst-case scenarios described in other studies are that a non-ergonomic chair could lead to a misaligned spine or muscles.
So an ergonomic office chair is a must-have item for every employee.
With that said, insurances and HSA cover the cost of your office chair. But of course, you need to pay from your pocket first.
How to reimburse your office chair expense?
For your office chair to be reimbursed to you, you have to show two things – a letter from your doctor and the receipt of the office chair.
First, your doctor should have a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) stating that he/she is prescribing you an ergonomic chair for health reasons.
Stating exactly why you need it helps to show that it is a medical necessity.
Some samples of LMNs talk about early symptoms of back and neck problems and the benefits you will get once you use an ergonomic office chair regularly.
Secondly, you need the receipt of your purchase.
Once you buy your ergonomic office chair, make sure to get the official receipt as this will be the document your insurer will ask for.
Together with the LMN, submit these documents to your insurance provider.
Reimbursement should happen in under 30 days depending on your provider.
Does insurance cover a standing desk also?
Similar to office chairs, your standing desk can be prescribed by a doctor as long as he/she finds a cause for you to use one.
Ideally, the benefits of the standing desk should be stated concerning your current medical situation.
Take note that you don’t have to be experiencing back or neck pains to be prescribed a standing desk. Instead, your doctor might see it as a preventive method for future spinal problems.
Now you might be asking – are remote employees covered by this?
Yes, they are, even if they’re not working in your company’s office.
That being said, office equipment is covered by your insurance is more of an issue of whether said equipment is for your health rather than on where you are based as an employee.
When should you not use your insurance for an office chair or standing desk?
It’s a relief knowing that office equipment can be covered by your insurance. However, there are cases when you shouldn’t use your insurance to pay for these things.
One situation is when you are already paying for a lot of medical expenses such as medicines, therapies, and consultations using your HSA.
In this case, office equipment goes down on the list of things that your HSA should be used for.
In other words, you want to save your HSA funds for more pressing medical needs.
Another situation is when it doesn’t have a lot of funds in it and you’re anticipating a big medical expense.
In this case, it would be better to put aside your HSA for a rainy day.
Yes, your insurance can cover your office chair and standing desk, but the catch is you should pay for the equipment first.
If you’re going to reimburse your office equipment, then you need to show proof that your doctor or chiropractor has prescribed it. And include the receipt too.
But while this is great news, we leave it up to you to determine if using your HSA funds is the best way to maximize your insurance.