Can you use a HSA for pet surgery?

Discover the latest information on using a Health Savings Account (HSA) for pet surgery in 2024.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend in utilizing health saving accounts (HSAs) for various medical expenses. But what about our furry friends? Can you use a HSA for pet surgery? This question has been on the minds of many pet owners, and in this article, we will explore the possibilities and limitations of using HSAs for pet surgery. As we delve into this topic, it's important to note that this information is updated for the year 2024, as policies and regulations surrounding HSAs are subject to change.

Can you use HSA for pet surgery?

HSAs are financial accounts that allow individuals to save money specifically for medical expenses. They are typically paired with high-deductible health insurance plans, providing individuals with a way to save for future medical costs while enjoying tax advantages.

However, when it comes to using HSAs for pet surgery, the answer is not as straightforward. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which governs HSAs, has specific guidelines on what expenses qualify for HSA funds. Unfortunately, pet surgery is not eligible for reimbursement under current regulations.

While this may be disappointing for pet owners hoping to use their HSA funds for their furry companions, it is important to understand the reasoning behind this policy.

The primary purpose of HSAs is to assist individuals in covering the costs of their own medical expenses. These accounts were designed to provide a financial safety net for individuals and families in times of illness or injury. While pets are undoubtedly cherished members of our families, the IRS's focus is on ensuring the funds in HSAs are used for human health-related expenses.

However, it is worth noting that there are other options available for pet owners to help manage the costs of pet surgery. Many veterinarians offer payment plans or financing options to assist pet owners in affording necessary procedures. Additionally, some pet insurance policies may cover a portion of the cost of pet surgery, depending on the specific policy and circumstances.

Furthermore, there are organizations and charities that provide financial assistance to pet owners in need. These organizations understand the importance of pets in our lives and strive to ensure that financial constraints do not prevent pets from receiving the care they need.

While HSAs may not be applicable to pet surgery expenses, it is important for pet owners to explore all available options to ensure their furry companions receive the necessary medical care. The well-being of our pets is a priority, and with the various resources and assistance programs available, pet owners can find the support they need.

What are the benefits of using a HSA for pet surgery?

Although pet surgery is not HSA-eligible, there are still some benefits to utilizing an HSA for other medical expenses, which indirectly contribute to your pet's well-being. One significant advantage is the ability to save money specifically for healthcare costs. By contributing to an HSA, individuals can build a financial buffer for unexpected medical emergencies, including surgeries for both themselves and their pets.

Additionally, HSAs offer tax advantages, as contributions made to these accounts are tax-deductible. This means that individuals can lower their taxable income by the amount contributed to their HSA, potentially resulting in a reduction in overall tax liability.

Moreover, HSAs come with the added benefit of being portable, meaning you can take your account with you if you change jobs or health insurance providers. This flexibility ensures that your HSA funds remain accessible for medical expenses across different phases of your life, including those related to your beloved pets.

What are the downsides of using a HSA for pet surgery?

While HSAs can provide numerous advantages, there are some downsides to consider when it comes to using them for pet surgery. The most notable drawback is the lack of HSA eligibility for veterinary care expenses.

Additionally, HSAs are limited by annual contribution caps set by the IRS. As of 2024, the maximum contribution for an individual is $3,750, and for a family, it is $7,500. These limits include both the individual's and the employer's contributions combined. Therefore, if you are already utilizing your HSA for your own medical expenses, your ability to save for potential pet surgery costs may be restricted.

Furthermore, it's important to keep in mind that not all veterinary procedures fall under the category of surgery. Routine check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive care for your furry friends are essential to their health, but they are not eligible expenses under an HSA.

HSA vs FSA for pet surgery

While HSAs may not be suitable for pet surgery expenses, it's worth considering another type of account known as a flexible spending account (FSA). FSAs are another popular option for individuals to set aside pre-tax funds for medical expenses. They differ from HSAs in that they are offered through employers and do not require high-deductible insurance plans.

Like HSAs, the IRS governs the eligibility of expenses for FSAs. However, there may be some variation between HSA and FSA guidelines, so it's crucial to consult your plan documents for specific information.

When it comes to pet surgery, some FSAs may cover these expenses, although it is not guaranteed. Employers have the option to include pet surgery as a qualified expense under their FSA plans, so it's essential to check with your employer or plan administrator to determine if this option is available to you.

Where can you find more information about HSA eligibility for pet surgery?

If you're seeking further information about HSA eligibility for pet surgery, it is recommended to consult the official IRS guidelines. The IRS provides detailed information regarding eligible medical expenses, which can help clarify any uncertainties you may have.

Additionally, if you have a specific HSA provider, reaching out to them directly can provide you with insights into their policies and any potential services they offer that may be beneficial to your pet's well-being.

While the use of HSAs for pet surgery may not be possible at present, it's always beneficial to stay informed about any changes in regulations or new opportunities that may arise in the future. As pet owners, we strive to provide the best possible care for our furry companions, and with advancements in medical technology and evolving policies, there may come a time when HSAs can be utilized for their surgical needs.


While it may be disappointing that HSAs cannot be used for pet surgery, it's important to remember that HSAs were designed to assist individuals with their own medical expenses. However, utilizing an HSA can still provide financial support for unforeseen medical emergencies, indirectly benefitting both you and your pets. Remember to explore other options, such as FSAs, to see if they may cover pet surgery expenses. And always stay informed about changes in HSA regulations, as there may be opportunities in the future to use these accounts for the well-being of our beloved pets.

What do you do if you're unsure?

If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult your HSA provider or a tax professional to confirm expense eligibility. 

What are HSA benefits for employers?

If you’re an employer, there are multiple benefits to offering HSA to your employees, including:

  • Attracting and retaining talent
  • It’s a cost-effective healthcare option
  • Enhances employee satisfaction and productivity
  • Increases the utilization of employee benefits
  • Has tax advantages for both you and your employees

Want to learn more? Check out our blog on what is an HSA

Get started with Forma today

Looking to offer an HSA as part of your employee benefits package? At Forma, we provide Pre-tax Accounts - including HSAs - to companies worldwide. 

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