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  • N. Rios

Over the Counter Items Now Eligible - Without a Prescription!

In late March, Congress passed the CARES Act, opening up FSA, HRA and HSA accounts to allow over-the-counter drugs and medications as eligible expenses without a prescription for the first time since 2011. (Read more about the CARES Act here.) This means you have even more flexibility with how you can spend your pre-tax dollars!

This is wonderful news for plan participants, but many people are still unaware of the types of items that are now eligible. Here is a list of common OTC drugs and medications that you can now purchase with the swipe of your benefits card - without the hassle of getting a prescription first!

  1. Pain and Fever Relievers (including creams and pads): Items such as Tylenol, Aspirin, baby and children's aspirin, and topical analgesics such as Aspercreme and Biofreeze.

  2. Cold and Flu Remedies and Medications: Medications such as Theraflu, Robitussin, and Sudafed can be purchased for the treatment of cold or flu ailments

  3. Allergy and Sinus Medications: Allegra, Claritin, and Flonase, Benadryl, Zyrtec are examples of common allergy relievers that are now eligible without a prescription.

  4. Heartburn, Stomach and Digestive Aids: Including Zantac, Tums, and laxatives and other digestive aids

  5. Menstrual Care Products: Including tampons, pads, and sponges

In addition to the items listed, thousands of items are now reimbursable without prescriptions. The passage of the CARES Act allows these items to be eligible, retroactively back to January 1, 2020. If you have your receipts from any OTC purchases made from January 1st and onward, you can submit these for reimbursement. Otherwise, you can simply swipe your NCA Benefits Card at your pharmacy to pay for these items.

There is no expiration date listed on this legislation. Keep in mind that you can use your pre-tax account funds for any OTC drugs or medications you might need when you are planning your annual election amount for 2021.

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