2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Knowledge Base

Welcome to our extensive library of articles on health concerns and conditions, alternative therapies, nutrition, nutritional supplements, and much more. Acupuncture / Traditional Chinese Medicine Aging Allergies & Food Sensitivities Alternative Therapies Big Pharma Evils Bone Health Candida (Yeast) and Parasites Cardiovascular Health Case Studies Chiropractic & Physical Medicine Dermatology Digestion Diseases Ear, Nose & Throat Environmental Sensitivities Eye Care Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Fitness & Exercise Health Insurance Issues Healthy Lifestyle Immune System Inflammation Integrative Medicine Lyme Disease & Morgellons Men's Health Mental Health Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements, Vitamins, & Herbal Remedies Pain Management Sexual Health Thyroid, Adrenal, & Sex Hormone Issues Weight Issues Women's Health

Saving a Bundle on Healthcare, Part 2

Click here for the Health Tip link.

If you use nutritional supplements and alternative therapies as part of your health care, you may finally be compelled to thank the Republicans for something you’ll like (that was not an easy sentence for me to write). It was during the Bush administration that the concept of Medical Savings Accounts (MSA) came into being.

The two most common MSAs are the Health Savings Account (HSA) and the Flexible Spending Account (FSA). The two are similar in that an employee is allowed to accumulate pre-tax dollars (deducted from her paycheck) in a special savings account that can be drawn on to cover medically related expenses not covered by her usual health insurance. The main difference is that money in an HSA can roll over and accumulate from year to year. In the event of death, it can be left to a beneficiary. If you lose your job, you keep your HSA and can use it to help with your COBRA expenses.

The FSA, on the other hand, has use-it-or-lose-it status. It’s re-set to zero annually. The upside is that your employer pre-funds your FSA at the beginning of each year, with you essentially re-paying the money out of every paycheck.

What I’ve discovered is that most people don’t bother to apply for their MSAs, maybe because they don’t understand them or don’t want any more deductions from their paycheck. But MSAs are a real boon to users of alternative therapies and nutritional supplements because both fulfill the requirement of being medical expenses not covered by regular health insurance.

Alternative therapies are literally anything from acupuncture to yoga. You can even apply your MSA to those portions of chiropractic care that your conventional insurance may not cover (like deductible and co-payments). All you need is a note from your primary care physician stating the diagnosis and that the treatment is medically necessary. Currently, you can pay for your therapies using a special debit card you’ll be given when you enroll in an MSA. Some employers haven’t instituted the debit card yet, so save your receipts to submit for reimbursement later.

Being reimbursed for your nutritional supplement purchases is the other real advantage of your MSA. In this situation, you need to have documentation from a physician that you are using each supplement to treat or prevent specific medical conditions. Since virtually every supplement in a health food store has been shown to either treat or prevent something, this is both easy and true. You generally only need this documentation in your file once a year.

To see a typical MSA letter documenting nutritional supplement use, click here. Save all documentation in the unlikely event of an IRS audit.

The WholeHealth Chicago Apothecary keeps a record of all your supplement purchases. Whenever you need a letter to submit for MSA reimbursement, simply call (773-296- 6700, ext. 2001) or send an email to apothecary@wholehealthchicago.com. Currently, we can only provide such letters for supplements purchased in our apothecary.

For more information on the concept of MSAs, which I’ve covered only briefly, check these links to the Wikipedia entries on Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts.

Leave a Comment


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Upcoming Workshops

 

*Yoga Therapy for Digestive Health
1-3 pm Saturday, April 22

In this workshop you will:

  • Discover how biological and environmental factors shape the health of your gastrointestinal system.
  • Learn specific breathing techniques to reduce stress and feel more grounded in your body.
  • Practice yoga postures that soothe, detox, and ground the entire GI system.
  • Practice a mindful eating exercise (on gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free foods) to explore your relationship to food and cultivate fulfillment.

Registration
Insurance-eligible for WholeHealth Chicago patients.
$50 registration for self-pay or those new to WholeHealth Chicago.
Space is limited and registration is required. Register by calling (773) 296-6700.
More>>

Questions? Please email Renee here.

 

*Self Care for Chronic Pain with Yoga Therapy and Healing Touch
Monday May 15th and Monday May 22nd
6pm – 7:30pm
Workshop Fee $75

Are you looking for ways to manage chronic pain that doesn’t involve medication? Consider a gentle exploration in Healing Touch and Yoga Therapy that connects mind, body and spirit for overall health and wellbeing with WholeHealth Chicago’s Healing Touch practitioner Katie Oberlin and Yoga Therapist Renee Zambo.

Enrollment is limited. Register online here or by calling (773) 296-6700 to secure your spot.
Read More>>

 

*May Lyme Academy
Lyme & Lymph; A Source of Pain and Swelling
Tuesday May 16, 5:30-7:00pm

People with Lyme disease may experience pain, swelling and have decreased ability to move toxins out of their body. Karen Meier, Doctor of Physical Therapy, will be presenting information about the lymphatic system, how Lyme affects it, self care and manual techniques for treatment.

Registration:
Registration is open to patients of Dr. Kelley, and pre-registration is required. Please call WholeHealth Chicago at 773-296-6700 or see a Patient Services team member to sign up!

 

*Awakened Body, Quiet Mind
An innovative workshop series for relieving mind/body stress and tapping into your true power and natural health.

Four Group Sessions with Meghan Roekle, PsyD.

Four meetings using a unique combination of embodiment meditation and mental inquiry for deep healing.

Tuesdays from 6:00-8:00pm beginning May 23rd.  Register online or call 773-296-6700
More>>

 

*Facial Guasha Class
The Ultimate DIY Anti-Aging Facial!
With Mari Stecker, LAc
Thursday June 8, 2017, 6:30-8PM, $65 course fee

Join us and learn a traditional Chinese facial rejuvenation technique that you can do yourself! Guasha treatment is a 2,000 year old Chinese massage technique that uses a flat tool to apply pressure to the skin to increase circulation as it moves along acupuncture channels.

Facial guasha is an easy to learn technique that:
* encourages blood flow and promotes radiance
* prevents wrinkles
* activates cells to regain facial elasticity
* drains fluids to detoxify skin and reduce puffiness
* sloughs off dead skin cells
* uplifts and tones skin
* firms up facial muscles
* minimizes dark circles
* promotes a healthy, younger and more radiant look

Space is limited, pre-registration required by calling 773-296-6700 or online.
More>>

Recent Health Tips

  • Pain And How We Perceive It

    Pain And How We Perceive It

    Many people suffering chronic pain and fatigue hear far too often the dismissive “it’s all in your head.” Dr. Edelberg has written frequently on the destructive nature of this statement, which places all the blame on the patient and none on the physician to dig …Read More »
  • Stevia and Lyme Disease

    Stevia and Lyme Disease

    Patients often ask me if stevia can treat Lyme disease. The answer is both yes and no. The question stems from a study published in 2015 in the European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology on stevia and the different forms of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium …Read More »

April Sale: 20% Off Metagenics Medical Foods

Metagenics pioneered the development of science-based medical foods to help manage specific health conditions. Take 20% off these products during April…
More>>