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Wednesday, February 17th
A radon mitigation system is an approved medical necessity to prevent lung cancer if you have elevated radon levels. This approved medical expense is not commonly known, but is in fact true. A handful of health insurance companies specifically list coverage for radon mitigation. None have listed the testing although one could debate that also.
Here is a sample list of organization that list coverage for radon mitigation (this is not a comprehensive list):
The Internal Revenue Code below referring to this method reads:
Section 213(d)(1)(A) defines "medical care" as amounts paid for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting a structure or function of the body.
The current status with the IRS is that it is approved if using a Health Savings or Flexible Spending Account accompanied with a note from a doctor. The doctors note is referred to as a: 1) Doctor’s Statement; or 2) Letter of Medical Necessity. Home owners are able to get a note from your primary care physician after a test and high level has been confirmed. Another alternative that has been successful is using the recommendation from the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Carmona:
"Indoor radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the county. It's important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques."
In Iowa citizens have successfully used this Surgeon General’s Guidance published in 2005. If someone has lived in a home with elevated radon, they are at increased risk and mitigation is a medical necessity if the result was 4 pCi/L or above. That has worked for at least 20 cases in Iowa that we know of.
The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) is pursuing further guidance with the Internal Revenue Service.
National Radon Defense recommends for people to verify with your health insurance company if further documentation is required. Also, we recommend you consult with your accountant.