Health Savings Account - eligible expense - battery backup?

My daughter is a new PD patient, and we are just getting setup at home with all the PD equipment and supplies.

I’m wondering if you anyone knows if a backup battery or generator to power the PD machine (in case of power outage / storm) is an eligible HSA expense?
If so, is there specific documentation required? Pre-approval? “Letter of medical necesity?”


Hi Steve,

You’d have to check with your HSA administrator, I’m afraid. A back-up battery or generator SHOULD be an approved expense, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you have to go back and forth with them about it.

That said, a backup is less critical with PD, since gravity drainage can be done. So, I have only heard of folks who do home HD getting them, not PD. It might be overkill. But, it would be a great idea to get those flashlights that plug in and power on automatically when the power shuts off, or at least keep a flashlight with fresh batteries near the cycler just in case.

If you do decide you must have a generator, Medicare covers them. Here is our article about emergency preparedness, which may be helpful.

If you are on Facebook, you also might want to join our group there.

Thanks for the information.
I am wondering if any other patients / parents have been successful with this route (HSA)?
Your article on the preparedness is perfect, thank you!

1 Like

That would be a great question to ask the Facebook group. :slight_smile:

I have been on PD now since October 2019 and have never had any type of power outage yet, but since we live in the Phoenix metro area and have APS (Arizona Power) as our primary electric company. We requested and they sent us a letter saying “If your power goes out unexpectedly, call 24/7 to report the outage. If there is a scheduled maintenance or repairs that require a planned outage in our area we will be notified in advance of it’s expected duration.”
You should have a manual backup with PD as we do, but we have used it only once because we were experiencing problems with cycler and went to the manual fill and drain while awaiting a replacement unit which took only 24 hours…THANK YOU BAXTER!

The IRS at defines medical expenses this way in part.
“Medical expenses are the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and for the purpose of affecting any part or function of the body. These expenses include payments for legal medical services rendered by physicians, surgeons, dentists, and other medical practitioners. They include the costs of equipment, supplies, and diagnostic devices needed for these purposes.”

To make sure you’re getting correct advice, I’d suggest you contact the administrator of your HSA plan, the IRS, or your tax advisor about whether you can count an uninterruptable power supply (battery back-up) for the PD machine.

As mmegee616 says, being able to do manual exchanges is always an option for patients on the PD cycler. Hopefully your daughter’s home training nurse has taught her how to do manual exchanges. If not, I’d ask for that training.

Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions!