We recently read in an article from the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) Radon Reporter that Health Savings & Flex Spending Accounts can pay for a radon mitigation system instillation per IRS Code “Section 213- Medical, Dental, etc., Expenses”, as:
Under § 213(d)(1)(A), medical care includes amounts paid for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body.
It seems that a large majority of HSA’s & FSA’s consider mitigation to be an approved medical necessity to prevent lung cancer if elevated radon levels are detected. The current status with the IRS is that it is approved if using a Health Savings or Flexible Spending Account accompanied with a note from a doctor. The doctors note is referred to as a:
- Doctor’s Statement; or,
- Letter of Medical Necessity.
Home owners are able to get a note from your primary care physician after a test and high level has been confirmed. At this time, testing is not a fee which can be reimbursed HSA’s / FSA’s. Also, according to AARST, some taxpayers have run into difficulty getting this approved as they needed to have been diagnosed with lung cancer prior to allowing the reimbursement.
It seems that another alternative that has been successful is using the recommendation from the U.S. Surgeon General:
“Indoor radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the county. It’s important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques.”
If someone has lived in a home with elevated radon, they are at increased risk and mitigation is a medical necessity if the result was 4 pCi/L or above. Speak with your physician regarding your concerns to ask if this can be included in the letter of Medical Necessity.
AARST is working on adding a statutory requirement to Section 213-1 of the Internal Revenue Code, or to instruct the IRS to make the needed technical change, to include radon TESTING and mitigation in the list of allowable expenses in the IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses.
The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) is pursuing further guidance with the Internal Revenue Service.
We highly suggest that you verify with your health insurance company if further documentation is required and that you consult with your accountant before taking action.
This LINK will take you to the IRS’s Publication 502, Medical and
Dental Expenses, and a list of items that you can include in figuring your medical expense deduction. The items are listed in alphabetical order.
For the latest information about developments related to Pub. 502, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to IRS.gov/Pub502.
The American Association of Radon Scientists & Technologists
AARST is a nonprofit, trade organization dedicated to the highest standards of excellence and the ethical performance of radon measurement, radon mitigation and knowledge transfer – working to shape public policy for radon risk reduction and awareness.