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Using your medical spending account

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using medical spending account

If you have a health care spending account, like a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA), Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) or Medical Savings Account (MSA), your account can help pay for over-the-counter prescription drugs.


But, before you buy medicine with your spending account funds, you should know about this change:


You can use your FSA, HSA, HRA or MSA for the costs of over-the counter medicine only if you have a doctor's prescription. (This rule does not apply to insulin.)


Here's what's different

In the past, you could use your health care spending account funds to buy over-the-counter medicine without a prescription.


How it impacts you

Follow these health care spending account guidelines to get covered for certain medical or drug expenses:


  • For health plan out-of-pocket expenses, vision and dental care: You can continue to use spending account funds for these expenses. They can be paid by debit card or, if you have a Flexible Spending Account, you can request reimbursement.
  • For insulin, whether prescribed or not: You can continue to use spending account funds for these expenses. They can be paid by debit card or, if you have a Flexible Spending Account, you can request reimbursement.
  • For over-the-counter items that aren't drugs, like bandages and blood sugar testing supplies: You can continue to use spending account funds for these expenses. They can be paid by debit card or, if you have a Flexible Spending Account, you can request reimbursement.
  • For over-the-counter drugs, like nonprescription allergy drugs, cold medicines and nicotine patches: You can use spending account funds for these expenses only if you have a prescription. If you have a Flexible Spending Account or Health Reimbursement Account, you must pay up front and then confirm the expense when you request reimbursement.

What happens if I use my spending account funds for nonqualified expenses?

Funds used for nonqualified expenses will be taxable and may be subject to 20% tax penalty. This only applies to Health Savings Account and Medical Savings Account funds.

Do I need a prescription to use my spending account funds for insulin?

No. You can use your spending account funds to purchase insulin without a prescription.

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