Can HSA funds be used to cover eligible medical expenses of a domestic partner?

Is it allowable to use HSA money to pay for eligible medical expenses of a domestic partner?
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  • Only if the domestic partner qualifies as a dependent according to the IRS definition.

    The rules around how a domestic partner can qualify as a dependent are complicated and you should seek counsel from a tax adviser if you want to understand how the definition is met.
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  • I am in a civil union in Colorado. Can I use my flex spending account to cover my partner's eligible medical expenses? I am not talking Health Savings Account but using my FSA?
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  • Hi Paul, I'll answer your question but first need to clarify that with the recent Windsor Supreme Court ruling there is a slight modification to the initial answer for any same sex couple who is married in a state that allows for same sex marriage. If a same sex couple is married in a state that allows it, they can then receive coverage in any state as if they are married, even if the state they live in does not allow for same sex marriage.

    Now to your question. If you and your spouse are in a civil union in Colorado then you could only cover your partner's medical expenses from your Medical FSA if he can qualify as a dependent. In order to do so your partner must meet the IRS definition for a "qualifying relative". If you click on the link you can get more details from the IRS website,.

    At a high level (again, this is not legal advise) your partner must:
    1) Live with you for the entire plan year
    2) You must provide more than half of the "support" for you all (this includes housing, food, clothing, etc). This means your income must be used to cover more than half of these expenses. Your partner could make more money than you as long as those dollars are used for other items like vacations, savings, etc.
    3) The gross income test does not apply to your Health FSA so that can be ignored
    4) The "not a qualifying child" situation should not apply.

    Hopefully this was helpful and if you need additional clarification please call us at 303-369-7886 or by using one of the other aacontact methods on our website.
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