COVID-19 & CARES ACT

MENSTRUAL CARE PRODUCTS ARE NOW QUALIFIED MEDICAL EXPENSES

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), passed in March, expanded the list of items and services considered qualified medical expenses.1 Menstrual care products—including tampons, pads, liners and other similar items—are now included on the list. This makes HSAs, FSAs and HRAs even more valuable. Americans can use their health accounts to purchase menstrual care products directly, enabling them to save money on taxes for routine care items

A recent study of low-income women in St. Louis found that 46 percent report struggling to afford both food and menstrual products.

If you offer an HSA, FSA or HRA, be sure to communicate these updates to your team. It may impact how they view their benefits and might help drive adoption and utilization. Even with occasional spending, tax savings can add up, so make sure your people take advantage.

Organizations should take stock of existing communications to ensure that lists of qualified medical expenses are up to date. In addition, help your team be ready to facilitate approval of purchases and reimbursements for menstrual care products.

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Status

Optional, but highly
recommended*

Source

The CARES Act

Effective timeline

Permanent

*Organizations are free to determine qualified medical expenses for FSAs and HRAs. However, industry-standard lists of qualified medical expenses established through SIGIS have been amended to include these items.

Practically, this means if a debit card is used in conjunction with the organization’s benefit plan, the organization must allow menstrual care products as a qualified medical expense for the cards to continue working.

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