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Benefits Advising

3 Positive Changes to HSAs

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed on  March 27, 2020, has a number of provisions that impact Health Insurance and Employee Benefits. There where many positive changes that came out of this act. Today I will be highlighting the top 3 changes that affect Health Savings Account. 

1.  The first is the ability to purchase over the counter medications such as aspirin, allergy medication, antacid, and bandages just to name a few. These over the counter drugs and medications no longer require a prescription to be purchased or reimbursed through an HSA. 

 Common Over-the-Counter  (OTC) Medicines Examples include but are not limited to: 

» Acid controllers  » Acne medicine » Aids for indigestion  » Allergy and sinus medicine  » Anti-diarrheal medicine  » Baby rash ointment 

» Cold and flu medicine » Eye drops » Feminine antifungal or anti-itch products  » Hemorrhoid treatment

 » Laxatives or stool softeners  » Lice treatments  » Motion sickness medicines  » Nasal sprays or drops  » Ointments for cuts, burns or rashes

 » Pain relievers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen  » Sleep aids  » Stomach remedies 

Here you will find a list of Eligible Expensed for Health Savings Accounts. 

2. The second change and one that I personally feel was far overdue is the ability to purchase menstrual care products with pre-tax dollars. Menstrual care products like pads, tampons, liners, cup sponge, or similar products are now eligible and are considered a qualified medical expense.

3. The third change… one that is currently temporary until December 31, 2021, is the ability for plans (or plan sponsors) to pay for telehealth services before reaching the deductible, without impacting an individual’s eligibility for an HSA. In general, Telehealth services are already considered an eligible expense for use with a Health Savings Account. However, prior to this change, these expenses could not be covered until an individual met their minimum deductible. 

Remember It is always best practice to save your receipt!… If you don’t want to keep a stack of papers simply take a picture with your phone and save it in as a file. 

If you are interested in the IRS publication I have linked IRS publication 502 explaining qualified medical and dental expenses here


SBIS offers its clients a complimentary HR portal and compliance audit. Not only are employers able to create custom Employee Handbooks and have access to HR professionals, but also be and stay in compliance.

Please contact us for more information.

This information is not intended to provide legal, medical or tax advice. We always recommend employers check with their trusted adviser regarding the application of laws to their specific circumstances. 

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