CARES Act changes affect FSA and HSA plans

The CARES Act, formally named the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, signed into law on March 27, provides emergency relief in the wake of the COVID-19 public health crisis and has provisions that affect the health care Flexible Spending Accounts and Healthcare Spending Accounts (HSA).

The legislation changes now allow Health FSA and HSA plan participants to be reimbursed for purchases of over-the counter drugs, medicines and other medical products without a prescription from a physician. Examples include, but are not limited to, pain relievers, cough and cold medicines, and more. This is a permanent change retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020.

Menstrual care products, such as tampons, pads, liners, cups, sponges, and/or similar products used by individuals with respect to menstruation are now included as an eligible expense for reimbursement from Health FSA and HSA plans. This move puts these health products in line with other already eligible expenses. This is also a permanent change retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020.