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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont Learning Center

VEBA Eligible Expenses List

This is a partial list of eligible/potentially eligible/ineligible medical expenses from a VEBA account.


If you have any questions about an item’s eligibility, please contact Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont's customer service at 1-866-999-2605. 

Eligible medical expenses

Abdominal supports



Alcoholism treatment


Arch supports

Artificial limbs

Asthma treatments/nebulizer

Bariatric surgery

Blood pressure monitoring devices

Body scans (e.g., MRI, CAT Scan) Brace (e.g., knee, back, wrist)

Breast pumps

Childbirth/lamaze classes (related to birth)

Chiropractic treatments (e.g., adjustments)


Coinsurance amounts (health, dental or vision)

Contact lenses (corrective)

Contact lens solution

Convalescent home (for medical treatment only)

Copayments (health, dental or vision)

Cotton balls (sterile)

C-PAP machine and supplies Crutches (purchase or rental)

Deductibles (health, dental or vision)

Dental procedures, non-cosmetic (e.g., X-rays, fillings, extractions, crowns, implants)


Denture adhesive

Diabetic supplies (e.g., insulin, syringe, monitor, insulin pump)

Drug addiction/substance abuse treatment Embryo, egg and sperm storage fees

Eye exams

Eye surgery (laser or radial keratotomy)

Eyeglasses – prescription sunglasses/safety glasses

Eyeglasses – reading

Feminine hygiene products (e.g., tampons)

Fertility treatments (e.g., artificial insemination, egg donor fees, in vitro)

Flu shots

Fluoridation treatment at a dental office

Gambling addiction treatment

Group therapy (for patient)

Hearing tests and aids

Home health care

Hot and cold packs


Individual counseling (counseling must be performed to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental defect or illness)

Insurance premiums*

Lab tests

Long Term Care Premiums

Mastectomy-related special bras

Medical records charges

Mental health treatment facility

Nutritional consultation

Occlusal guards to prevent teeth grinding

Oral surgery

Organ transplant (including donor’s expenses)


Orthopedic inserts

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines including cold medication, pain and allergy relief, and digestive aids

Oxygen and oxygen equipment

Physical exams (routine, medical, well-child)

Physical therapy

Prenatal/postnatal exams

Prescription drugs (prescription drugs imported from other countries are not covered)

Preventive care screenings (e.g., mammogram, colonoscopy)


Psychiatric care

Shipping and handling fees for eligible expenses

Sleep study

Smoking cessation medications/programs

Speech therapy

Taxes paid for eligible expenses

Transportation expenses relative to health care (corresponding medical documentation requested)

Tubal ligation/tubal ligation reversal


Varicose veins, treatment of Vasectomy/vasectomy reversal

Walkers/canes (purchase or rental)

Wheelchair (purchase or rental)


* Active employee VEBA accounts can reimburse stand alone insurance policy premiums like dental, vision, or other benefits policies not under guidance by the Affordable Care Act.

These lists are intended to serve as a quick reference and are provided with the understanding that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is not engaged in rendering tax advice. For more detailed information, please refer to IRS Publication 502, “Medical and Dental Expenses,” Catalog Number 15002Q. Publications can be ordered from the IRS by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). If tax advice is required, seek the services of a competent professional.

Potentially eligible medical expenses (requires Letter of Medical Necessity from health care provider)

Air conditioner (capital expense)

Air purifier (potential capital expense)

Athletic club membership

Automobile modifications (capital expense)

Behavioral modification programs

Breast reconstructive surgery

Breast reduction surgery that is medically necessary

Cosmetic surgery (for repair or reconstruction after accident or surgery or for correction of birth defect)

DNA collection and storage

Dyslexia testing and instruction

Elevator (capital expense)

Exercise equipment or programs

Fluoridation device

Food thickeners

Genetic testing

Group therapy for family member

Guide dog/service animal (purchase, care for, training)

Herbal treatments

Holistic or natural healers consult

Home improvements (e.g., exit ramps, widening doorways) (capital expense)

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

Household products/improvements to treat allergies

Lactation consultant

Lead-based paint removal

Learning disability treatment

Lodging (away from home for outpatient care – special rules may apply)

Manual therapy

Massage therapy

Medical conference admission and transportation (excludes meals and lodging)

Mentally handicapped residential or group home

Nutritional Counseling

Orthopedic shoes

Personal trainer fees

Prescription drugs that also have a cosmetic purpose (e.g., Retin-A, Rogaine, Botox, Propecia)

Special education costs for dependents with disabilities

Stem cell, harvesting and/or storage of

Telephone/television equipment for hearing- impaired persons

Umbilical cord, freezing and storing of

Weight loss program (if prescribed by a physician for a specific medical condition – excludes food)


Ineligible medical expenses

Birthing tubs

Bottled water

Braille books/magazines

Cleaning service

Cosmetic surgery and procedures

Cosmetics, hygiene products and similar items

Dancing lessons

Diapers or diaper service

Diet foods

Ear or body piercing

Electrolysis or hair removal

Funeral, cremation or burial expenses

Hair colorants

Hair transplants

Household help

Illegal operations and treatments Illegally obtained drugs

Late fees (e.g., for late payment of bills for medical services)

Lodging while attending a medical conference

Marijuana or other controlled substances in violation of federal law

Marriage counseling

Maternity clothes


Medical newsletter

Missed appointment fees


New parent/newborn child care classes

Non-prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses, safety glasses or contacts


Prescription drug discount program fees

Prescription drugs and medicines imported from other countries

Special foods/beverages

Sports training and activities

Surrogate expenses

Swimming lessons

Swimming pool and maintenance

Tanning salons and equipment

Teeth whitening

Transportation costs of disabled individual commuting to and from work

Travel for general health improvement


Eligible medical expense

Medical expenses that can be reimbursed through your VEBA include services and supplies incurred by you or your eligible dependents for the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of disease or for the amounts you pay for transportation to get medical care.

In general, deductions allowed for medical expenses on your federal income tax according to Internal Revenue Code Section 213(d) may be reimbursed through your VEBA. You cannot deduct your medical expenses on federal income tax that have been reimbursed through your VEBA. It is possible that changes in the IRS rules can affect the eligible, potentially eligible, and/or ineligible expense categories.

Potentially eligible medical expenses

In order to determine eligibility for potentially eligible items, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont requires a Letter of Medical Necessity from your health care provider. You can obtain a Letter of Medical Necessity to have your health care provider complete at

Capital expense

A capital expense is an improvement and/or special equipment added to a home or other capital expenditure that may be eligible if the primary purpose is medical care. A Letter of Medical Necessity is required from your health care provider. To submit your capital expense, you must have an appraisal of your home within one year prior to the installation and an appraisal after the installation to determine the value added to the home. The amount eligible is the difference between the cost of the expense and the increase in the additional value of your home. If the improvement/ special equipment is used by individuals other than the person needing it for medical care, the eligible amount should be divided by the number of people using the item. Example: A ramp is purchased for $3,000 and prior to installation your house is appraised at $100,000. After installation of the ramp your house is appraised for $101,000. The amount that is eligible under your VEBA is $2,000.

For assistance in calculating capital expense, the Capital Expense Work- sheet is available at If you have questions about a capital expense, please contact customer service for a more detailed explanation.

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