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Genetic Testing Kits and FSAs

The IRS issued a private letter ruling (PLR) this week indicating that an FSA (and presumably an HSA and HRA) may reimburse a portion of the purchase of genetic testing and reports regarding ancestry and health. The IRS noted that the health services portion of such a cost is a reimbursable medical expense under Code Section 213(d) because the tests fall under “diagnosis of a disease.” With respect to the genetic services incurred by the individual seeking the PLR, the IRS noted that the reports contained genotyping (a qualified medical expense), as well as general information and ancestry information (not a qualified medical expense). It is incumbent upon the taxpayer to allocate the cost for the reimbursement to the portion which was attributable to a qualified medical expense. IRS private letter rulings are only applicable for the taxpayer that requests it; however, this is helpful insight to IRS approach to genetic testing kits as Code Section 213 medical expenses.

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About this Author

Judith Wethall, McDermott Law Firm, Chicago, Labor and Employment Law Attorney

Judith Wethall focuses her practice on employee benefits, specifically health and welfare programs. She counsels employers, plan administrators, insurers and consultants on a wide range of ERISA compliance issues. Judith's clients include sole proprietors to Fortune 100 companies and cover a variety of industries including health care, technology, manufacturing, insurance and financial.

Judith has extensive experience advising clients on health care law reform; wellness programs; Medicare secondary payor rules; fiduciary compliance; disability...


Jacob Mattinson is an associate in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is based in the Firm’s Chicago office.  He focuses his practice on matters related to employee benefits and executive compensation.