Can patients with HSAs deduct the new Apple Watch as a medical device? Not yet

Julie Spitzer - Print  | 

The FDA-cleared Apple Watch Series 4 will allow wearers to take electrocardiograms on their wrists and receive alerts if their heartbeat becomes irregular, leaving some to question whether the device will count as a medical device for tax purposes, according to MarketWatch.

MarketWatch reviewed posts on Reddit in which users discussed whether they could buy the new Apple Watch with money from a Health Savings Account, a savings account that allows taxpayers to withdraw a certain amount of money to pay qualified medical expenses pre-tax.

"The new Apple Watch Series 4 was approved by the FDA as an electrocardiogram or ECG. Does this mean someone can purchase the new Apple Watch and those funds count as a medical expense," a user posted to Reddit. The answer, according to MarketWatch: No, or at least not yet.

The IRS defines "medical expenses" as "the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body." A licensed medical physician must prescribe all medical tax deductions, which must then be itemized on Schedule A of your annual tax return, MarketWatch reports.

According to a certified public account and tax expert, "medical expenses eligible to be paid for from an HSA are based on the IRS-approved medical deduction list," which the agency didn't update after Apple's announcement.

However, some believe this could change, given that weight-watching and smoking cessation programs are tax deductible.

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5 takeaways on using step therapy to lower Part B drug prices: Health Affairs
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