Good news! The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) has expanded the use of Health Saving Account (HSA) and Health Flexible Spending Account (Health FSA) dollars to include certain medical expenses and over-the-counter medicines without a prescription. This is a reversal of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) restrictions on the use of these funds. 

Employees will now be able to purchase items such as pain relievers, antacids, allergy medication, feminine hygiene, and even acne treatments without a prescription. It is important to note that vitamins and supplements will most likely still require a prescription or letter of medical necessity stating that they are being used to treat a diagnosed medical condition. 

The most convenient change is that employees will now be able to use their HSA debit cards to make these purchases. This means that you can go to Target and purchase your favorite allergy medication with your HSA card as opposed to filing for reimbursement after you incur the expense and without a prescription. 

While this change was retroactive to January 1, 2020, stores will need time to implement this change in their point-of-sale systems. If you attempt to make a qualified purchase but your HSA card is declined, you will be required to use another form of payment and submit for reimbursement afterwards. These system updates could take until the end of May.