The federal government is allowing expanded use of flexible spending accounts under a new law designed to help people during the national economic downturn.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law in March, includes two provisions that affect flexible spending accounts:
• Over-the-counter drugs and medicine. The CARES Act repeals a requirement that over-the-counter drugs and medicines must be prescribed in order to be reimbursed under flexible spending accounts.
This means these plans can now pay for or reimburse over-the-counter drugs and medicines without a prescription from a doctor. This provision is effective for expenses incurred after Jan. 1, 2020. This provision does not have an expiration date.
• Menstrual care products. The CARES Act deems expenses for feminine hygiene and other menstrual care products qualified medical expenses that can be paid by a flexible spending account. This provision is effective for expenses incurred after Jan. 1, 2020, and does not have an expiration date.
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