The CARES Act allows you to use your FSA, HSA, or HRA to pay for over-the-counter medications and menstrual care products—without a prescription.

Eligible Expenses

FSAs, HSAs, and HRAs help you save money on eligible expenses

Use your benefit accounts to save money on eligible expenses.

What kind of plan/account do I have?

You may have a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA), or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) made available to you through your employer. Refer to your employee benefits information from your human resources department if you’re newly eligible for benefits or log into your online account to verify which plans you currently have.

Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) help you save money because the contributions you make to the account are exempt from Federal, State, and FICA payroll taxes. Using tax-free dollars to pay for eligible expenses saves up to 30%*, meaning a $100 eligible expense costs you about $70.

*These tax examples are broad approximations of tax liability. Your specific savings depend on your tax bracket. You should consult a tax advisor for help with your own situation. Current IRS tax laws control all BESTflex Plan and SimplyHSA matters and are subject to change.

Health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) are funded entirely by your employer and are available to you to pay for eligible expenses with your employer’s money. Your employer also decides which expenses are eligible and how much the HRA pays. So make sure to log into your online account and access My Company Plan for details about your HRA.

What expenses are eligible for payment from my account?

This list of eligible expenses gives you examples but is not meant to be all inclusive. For specific questions about eligible expenses for your plan, log into your online account and refer to My Company Plan or email

Expense Type Limited Health FSA Standard Health FSA HSA Section 213 HRA
Dental Expenses
  • Dental X-Rays
  • Exams/Teeth Cleanings, Gum Treatments
  • Fillings, Crowns/Bridges
  • Oral Surgery, Extractions, Dentures
  • Orthodontia/Braces
Vision Expenses
  • Contact Lenses, Contact Lens Solution and Cleaners
  • Eye Examinations
  • Eyeglasses, Reading Glasses, Prescription Sunglasses
  • Laser Eye Surgeries, Radial Keratotomy/LASIK
Out-of-Pocket Uncovered Medical Care Expenses
  • Copays, Coinsurance, Deductible expenses
  • Prescribed Medication, including insulin and birth control
  • Prescribed Vitamins
Lab Exams/Tests
  • Blood Tests, Spinal Fluid Tests, Urine/Stool Analyses
  • Diagnostic Fees, Laboratory Fees
  • Cardiographs
  • X-Rays
Medical Treatments/Procedures
  • Acupuncture, Chiropractor
  • Hearing Exams, Hearing Aids and Batteries
  • Inpatient treatment for addiction to alcohol/drugs
  • Infertility, In-vitro Fertilization
  • Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy
  • Sterilization, Vasectomy, and Vasectomy Reversals
  • Vaccinations and Immunizations
  • Well Baby Care
Medical Supplies and Services
  • Abdominal/Back Supports, Arch Supports/Orthopedic Insoles (not for general comfort) or Diabetic Shoes
  • Blood Pressure Monitors
  • Breast Pumps and Lactation Supplies
  • Compression Hosiery Above 30 mmHg
  • Contraceptives, Norplant Insertion or Removal
  • Counseling (except for Marriage and Family)
  • Crutches, Wheelchair, Oxygen Equipment, Splints/Casts
  • Medic Alert Bracelet or Necklace
  • Hospital and Ambulance Services
  • Insulin Supplies, Syringes
  • Guide Dog (for visually/hearing impaired person)
  • Mastectomy Bras, Prosthesis
  • Medical Miles, Tolls, Parking, or Transportation Expenses (essential to medical care)
  • Pregnancy Tests, Pre-natal Vitamins
Over the Counter (OTC) Products
  • Allergy, Anti-Itch, Antihistamine Medicines, Eye Drops
  • Digestive Tract Relief Medications, Antacids, Anti-Diarrhea Medications, Laxatives
  • Anti-Nausea Medications, Motion Sickness Pills
  • Cold and Flu Medications, Cough Drops & Syrups, Decongestants, Nasal Sinus Sprays, Sore Throat Spray, Sinus Medications, Throat Lozenges, Vapor Rubs
  • First Aid Creams, Diaper Rash Ointments, Calamine Lotion, Bug Bite Medication, Wart Remover Treatments, Special Ointments/Burn Ointments, Rubbing Alcohol
  • Menstrual Pain and Cramp Relief Medication
  • Menstrual Products, including Tampons and Pads
  • Pain Relievers, Analgesics, Aspirin, Fever Reducers, Muscle/Joint Pain Relievers
  • Smoking Cessation Products, Nicotine Gum/Patches
  • Sunscreen greater than SPF 14
  • Athletes Foot Creams and Powders, Cold Sore Remedies, Hemorrhoid Medications, Lice and Scabies Treatments, Yeast Infection Treatments

What kinds of expenses are not eligible?

We’re commonly asked which expenses are not eligible for payment from an FSA, HSA, or HRA. Here are some examples, but again, it is not all inclusive.

  • Canceled appointment fees
  • Drugs or treatments that are illegal under Federal law
  • Cosmetic surgery, treatments, or procedures
  • Toiletries or sundry items
  • Vitamins or supplements for general health
  • Food and meals that replace regular nutritional requirements

Personal care items or services for general health are not usually eligible, but if your health care provider recommends an otherwise personal product or service to treat a specific diagnosis, you can submit the expense for reimbursement with a Letter of Medical Necessity. This is a letter from your health care provider that includes a recommendation of the item or service to treat your diagnosis, and the duration of the recommendation. Depending on the expense, you may have to provide additional documentation to show the expense would not have been incurred “but for” the medical condition.

Sometimes a personal or general use item may be specialized for the specific purpose of treating or alleviating a medical condition. In this case, only the excess cost of the specialized item over the non-specialized item can be reimbursed. A Letter of Medical Necessity may be requested for these items as well.

Where can I buy items that are eligible expenses?

You can purchase eligible expenses anywhere that sells them. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your benefit and easily paying for eligible expenses.

  • Consider online retailers. Many of your favorite retailers sell these items on their websites. They may even have products or entire categories of products marked as FSA or HSA eligible items on their site and on your receipt/invoice.
  • Use your Benefits Card! The easiest way to purchase an eligible expense is to use your Benefits Card at a retailer that approves eligible expenses at the point of sale with their electronic payment system. When you use your Benefits Card at these retailers, you pay directly from your benefit account without having to pay out-of-pocket and then submit a claim for reimbursement.
  • Submit claims online and use direct deposit. Don’t have a Benefits Card? No problem. Save your expense documentation and submit your claim for reimbursement online. Sign up for direct deposit and your funds are automatically deposited in your savings or checking account.