While the CRA does include orthopaedic footwear and orthotics on their list of eligible medical expenses, there are a few limitations when it comes to reimbursement through an HSA.
First, let's break down the specifics of what we mean by 'orthopaedic footwear'!
Pre-fabricated or 'over-the-counter' (OTC) items are mass-produced and can most often be found at your local foot specialists, although some fashion shoe stores will offer them too. They are not designed for an individual patient, however they may incorporate features that are applicable to specific medical needs.
Custom-made items are designed for serious and complex cases and require a 3D-cast of the patient's foot. They can be prescribed for extreme foot shape/size, foot deformities, severe limb discrepancy, bio mechanical deficiencies or to accommodate vulnerable (at risk) feet.
Per CRA guidelines, only custom-made footwear and orthotics (which have been specifically designed and engineered for your feet) are an eligible medical expense.
This means that any shoes, boots or inserts which were purchased "off the rack" - even if they come with a recommendation or prescription from an authorized medical practitioner - are unfortunately not eligible for reimbursement.
If your Podiatrist or Chiropodist has modified off-the-shelf shoes for you specifically, then they may be eligible. Our Claims Team will need to see documentation from your provider stating that the modifications were necessary, along with an invoice or work order showing the modifications have been completed. All work must be done at the time of purchase in order to be eligible.
If you're submitting a receipt for eligible Orthopaedic footwear our Claims Crew will also need a copy of the prescription from an authorized medical practitioner for reimbursement, so be sure to include this when submitting your claim.
Custom-made orthotics can be prescribed by a Podiatrist, Chiropodist or Chiropractor. In these cases be sure to include your receipt and any relevant documentation provided by your practitioner to avoid any unnecessary processing delays.