Neti Pots: FSA Eligibility

Neti Pots: eligible with a Flexible Savings Account (FSA)
Neti pots are eligible over-the-counter (OTC) items that do not require a prescription for reimbursement with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Neti pots reimbursement is not eligible with a limited-purpose flexible spending account (LPFSA) or a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

Under IRC 213(d)(1), "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." This includes medical equipment and devices.

What is a neti pot?

A neti pot is a special device that resembles the look of a traditional teapot crossed with a magic lamp, but it is specially designed for nasal irrigation. Neti pots are used by millions of Americans to treat sinus problems, provide relief from nasal congestion in the event of a cold or virus, or to clear out breathing passages during the height of allergy season. Individuals who use neti pots typically utilize a nasal saline solution that mixes salt and warm water to flush out these passageways (Mayo Clinic).

Neti pots have roots in the yoga/Ayurvedic medical traditions, and while nasal irrigation has been known to be extremely effective in Western medicine for decades, the neti pot has become increasingly popular in recent years as users discover the ease of use and utility of regular nasal irrigation. When used alongside standard sinus and nasal treatments, neti pots are a trusted means of relieving congestion, facial pain and pressure.

How is a neti pot used?

Before using a neti pot, the user must mix up a saline solution of salt and sanitized water. This is done by combined a 1/4 teaspoon of finely ground, non-iodized salt with 8 ounces of distilled, boiled or filtered water until the salt is completely dissolved in the liquid. Lukewarm water is the most comfortable temperature for this solution to be drained through the nasal passages.

When ready, the user should tilt his/her head over a sink so that the ear is facing downward. Begin pouring the neti pot into the first nostril, which will then drain out of the opposite nostril. Breathe through the mouth during this process to keep the throat sealed, and empty half of the pot through each nostril. When the mixture has been exhausted, users should finish by blowing their nose and cleaning their neti pots completely so they are ready and sterile for the next use (Healthline).