The $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill signed into law this past weekend includes a provision that makes over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and menstrual products HSA-, FSA- and HRA-eligible. We’re here to keep CDH administrators informed about what this means for them, their employer groups and their members.
On April 15, the Special Interest Group for IIAS Standards (SIGIS) updated its Eligible Product List (EPL) to include OTC items and menstrual care products. Merchants can now update their systems to include the new standards, but adoption dates will vary, as some merchants update their inventory monthly, quarterly or annually. Once a merchant adopts the new standards, consumers can purchase OTC items and menstrual care products through them with a card swipe.
Yes. If consumers attempt to purchase these items before systems have been updated and the transaction is denied, they can submit a claim for reimbursement. In addition, this provision is effective for any qualified purchases made after December 31, 2019. Consumers can, therefore, submit claims for reimbursement for purchases made between that date and when this law passed.
We estimate that approximately 17,500 new OTC products will become eligible with this change. These include OTC items that were removed from eligibility with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as items that have been submitted for or rejected from eligibility since. Because menstrual care products have never been eligible with tax-advantaged accounts, we don’t have a firm estimate on the number of those items currently. We will update you when we have a better idea around May 15.
You can take several actions right now and as these items become officially eligible to make sure your organization is up to speed and ready to assist consumers.
If you have any additional questions, please reach out to us. Visit our COVID-19 resource center to get answers to all your questions related to the crisis and consumer-directed healthcare (CDH).