It’s time to celebrate! The recent changes in legislation known as the CARES Act has reclassified menstrual hygiene products to be treated as any other spending on “medical care.” That means tampons, pads, liners, and cups purchased after December 31, 2019 are FSA and HSA eligible.
What Are FSA and HSA Eligible Items?
Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) are a way of setting aside pre-tax income for out-of-pocket medical expenses. For example, your co-pay when you visit the doctor or buy prescription medication.
If you have health insurance through your employer, you may be eligible for an FSA or an HSA. You may even already have one! You can contact your plan provider to learn more and ask any questions you may have about purchase eligibility.
FSA Eligible Period Products
A flexible spending account (FSA) makes it possible to pay for qualifying medical expenses with tax-free income.
- Funds are collected before taxes, which lowers your taxable income and therefore the amount of income tax you pay.
- Since taxable income is lower, take-home pay may increase.
- Your pledged income—the amount you decide to contribute for the year—is available immediately.
- Your FSA covers some health essentials that your insurance may not, such as over-the-counter drugs, certain vaccines and preventative tests—and now period products!
The CARES Act reclassified menstrual products as “medical expenses,” which means you can now purchase pads and tampons with pre-tax income through your FSA or HSA. The bill states, "Amounts paid for menstrual care products shall be treated as paid for medical care," and it retroactively covers purchases made any time after December 31, 2019.
Are Tampons FSA Eligible?
Yes! Tampons are now classified as a “medical expense,” making them FSA eligible.
Are Pads FSA Eligible?
Yes! The CARES Act has reclassified menstrual pads as a “medical expense,” which means you can now use your FSA to pay for pads.
More questions about pads? Learn how to choose the right menstrual pad for your period.
Are Incontinence Products FSA Eligible?
Yes! The CARES Act has classified incontinence pads as a “medical expense,” which makes them eligible for pre-tax spending through your FSA.
Are Menstrual Cups FSA Eligible?
Yes! As with other period protection, menstrual cups are classified as a “medical expense,” which means they’re eligible for FSA spending.
Please contact your plan administrator for any additional details on period care products that are FSA eligible.
HSA Eligible Period Products
Your employer may offer a Health Savings Account (HSA) as an option for your medical coverage. Similar to FSAs, HSAs provide a number of benefits to help pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses and are especially helpful if you have a high deductible.
- Earnings that grow in your HSA account are completely tax free.
- All funds roll over year to year.
- Multiple people can contribute to your HSA, which means relatives can help pay for your medical expenses and employers can match your contributions.
The CARES Act reclassified period products as “medical expenses,” making them eligible, and it retroactively covers purchases made any time after December 31, 2019.
Can You Buy Tampons with an HSA?
Yes! Thanks to the CARES Act, tampons are now considered a “medical expense.” That means you can use pre-tax income to pay for them through your HSA.
More questions about tampons? Learn the truth behind some of the most common tampon myths.
Are Menstrual Pads HSA Eligible?
Yes! All period products, including menstrual pads, have been deemed “medical expenses,” by the CARES Act, which means you can use your HSA to pay for them.
Can You Buy Incontinence Products with an HSA?
Yes! Alongside menstrual pads, incontinence pads are now classified as a “medical expense,” so they’re HSA eligible.
More questions? Learn more about living with incontinence.
Are Menstrual Cups HSA Eligible?
Yes! The CARES Act has reclassified all period protection, including menstrual cups, as HSA eligible.
Please contact your plan administrator for any additional details on period care products that are HSA eligible.
How to Get an FSA or HSA
Whether you have employer-based health insurance, private health insurance, or something else, you may have the option of setting up an FSA or HSA. Talk to your insurance plan provider for more detailed information on product eligibility and how to access coverage with your FSA or HSA.
Want to Know More About Menstrual Health?
This change in legislature is a small but important step toward increasing access to menstrual hygiene products and helping to end period poverty here in the US.
We’re passionate about ending the stigmas associated with women’s health, advocating for equality under the law, and helping to spread educational information.
Want to know more? We’ve gathered some of our most valuable educational resources for you to explore.
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