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I recently visited my dentist for my semi-annual checkup. The checkup is covered by my insurance, but when I reviewed the EOB after the visit I noticed a $20 charge with code D1999/Unspecified that my insurance denied. When I contacted my dentist office, they informed me that this was a COVID-19 related charge to cover the personal protective equipment (PPE) for the hygienist and dentist during my checkup.

Can I use use my flexible spending account(FSA) to cover the PPE charge from my dentist?

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Can I use use my flexible spending account(FSA) to cover the PPE charge from my dentist?

Yes you can. This is a fee charged by your dentist. This is to pay for the equipment the doctor used. It wasn't a mask that you walked out of the office with.

First I would check with the insurance company about your responsibility for the fee. In many cases an in-network doctor/dentist is limited in what they allowed to charge for. They can't make you pay more than what the insurance company considers your responsibility for the deductible or the co-pay. So your responsibility could be zero even if the insurance company doesn't pay for the item.

During this crisis some insurance companies have protected their customers by not allowing medical offices to charge for the extra expenses this year. Others have not addressed the issue. I have been to doctors and dentists during this crisis and haven't had to pay any extra fees.

If you have to pay this fee, then I would have the funds sent directly from the FSA to the dentist office. This generally doesn't require you to submit an Explanation of Benefit (EOB). It also may be possible to pay with the debit card connected to the FSA.

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    "First I would check with the insurance company" When doing this, I'd make sure they know what the charge is for. I'm not from the US, so no direct experience of such things, but I can imagine that if they see "D1999/Unspecified" on a bill, with no further detail, they'll automatically reject it as not qualifying. If they know what it's for, and that it's relevant to the treatment, there's a chance they may accept it. – TripeHound Sep 6 at 11:12
  • As a followup, I checked with my insurance and they told me that the charge will now be covered for in-network dentists between 1 Aug 2020 and 31 Oct 2020. If it's an out-of-network dentist or not between those dates, it doesn't get covered by the insurance. – Spig Sep 11 at 20:52

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