After taking some hits on its stance regarding nursing supplies and flex spending accounts, the IRS just announced that its changing its position.
The agency now says that employees’ flex account funds can be used for breast pumps and other nursing supplies.
The announcement is a reversal of what the feds initially said: breastfeeding doesn’t carry enough overall health benefits to qualify as a form of medical care – and breastfeeding supplies couldn’t be purchased using flex accounts.
Why the change of heart? Like obstetric care, the IRS said nursing supplies are “for the purpose of affecting a structure or function of the body of the lactating woman.”
In its announcement, however, the IRS didn’t specify what supplies (besides breast pumps) would be reimbursable. But the agency may offer more guidance on that soon in a revised publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses.
We’ll keep you posted.