Announcement: Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drugs Now FSA Reimbursable IRS Revenue Ruling 2003-102, released September 3, 2003, permits many OTC drugs purchased without a physician’s prescription to be reimbursed through a health care flexible spending account (FSA), as long as the items alleviate illness or injury. Below are examples of medical-only and dual purpose OTC drugs that are reimbursable, as well as OTC drugs that are excluded.
Medical-only OTC Drugs These OTC drugs are deemed to be solely (or primarily) for medical purposes. For FSA reimbursement, the (itemized) actual name of the product must appear on the merchant- or pharmacy-originated receipt AND itemized on the Benesyst claim form. Handwritten names or copies of labels are not acceptable.
? Analgesics – Migraine preparations, acetaminophen, anti-inflammatory including non-
steroidal, salicylates (aspirin), cold and flu medicines, sinus and allergy relief medicines and pain relievers. Examples: Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Excedrin, Sudafed, TheraFlu, Robitussin, Sinutab,
Actifed, Tavist D, Vicks 44M, Dayquil, Nyquil
? Antihistamines – Examples: Benadryl, Claritin, Contac, Dimetapp, Pediacare; see
? Gastrointestinal Agents – Antacids, calcium antacids/combinations, magnesium antacids,
antacid preparations, antiflatulent combinations. Examples: Gas-X, Maalox, Mylanta, Tums,
Alka-Seltzer, Gaviscon, Pepcid AC, Rolaids, Ex-lax, Milk of Magnesia, Prilosec, Zantac, Immodium caplets, Phazyme
? Antidiarrheals – Examples: Imodium A-D, Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol ? Antiemetics – For motion sickness. Examples: Bonine, Dramamine, Emetrol ? Antifungal & Combinations – Examples: Desenex, Lamisil, Lotrimin, Nizoral, Monistat ? Anorectal Preparations – Examples: Anusol, Cortizone, Hurricaine topical, Preparation H,
? Antiseptic & Combinations – Examples: Anbesol, Bactine, Hurricaine topical, Betadine,
? Anti-itch medications – Examples: Anusol, Benadryl, Caladryl, Cortizone, Vagisil ? Burn Preparations – See "Antiseptic & Combinations" examples above ? Canker Sore/Cold Sore Preparations – Examples: Anbesol, Abreva, Gly-Oxide ? Cold & Cough Preparations ? Cough Drops ? Constipation Aids ? Decongestants & Nasal Strips ? Diaper Rash Relief ? Expectorants ? Fever Preparations ? First Aid (see Wound Care) ? Head Lice Relief ? Hemorrhoidal Creams & Suppositories ? Incontinence Supplies ? Laxatives ? Menstrual Cycle Products for Pain and Cramp Relief ? Muscle Pain or Joint Pain Cream or Wraps – Examples: BenGay, Tiger Balm, Vicks
VapoRub, Biofreeze, Cold/Hot packs, ThermaCare Heat Wraps
? Nasal Sinus Sprays ? Nausea Medications Medical-only OTC Drugs (continued)
? Nicotine Gum or Patches
? Pedialyte for Child’s Dehydration ? Psoriasis Medications ? Sleep Aids – Examples: Nytol, Sominex, Unisom ? Sunburn Cream ? Thermometers (Ear/Mouth/Rectal/Infant)
? Throat Lozenges & Sprays – Examples: Halls, Vicks, Sucrets ? Visine and Other Eye Products including all contact lens solutions ? Wart Remover Products ? Wrist Support for Carpal Tunnel ? Wound Care – Examples: Bandages, First Aid Creams, Gauze Pads, First Aid Kits, Rubbing
Alcohol, Peroxide, Liquid Adhesive for small cuts
Dual-purpose OTC Drugs (Doctor’s Note Required) The following items are deemed by the IRS to be “dual purpose"; they have a medical purpose, which would make the item reimbursable, and a personal/cosmetic/general health purpose, which would make them NON- reimbursable. If you wish to receive FSA reimbursement on the items listed below, you must include a medical doctor’s note specifying the medical diagnosis, medical condition, necessity, treatment, and duration.
? Acne preparations ? Fiber supplement to treat a specific medical condition for a limited time ? Glucosamine/Chondroitin for arthritis or another medical condition ? Lactose intolerant pills ? Nasal sprays for snoring ? Orthopedic shoes and inserts (for orthopedic shoes, only the excess cost over non-
? OTC hormone therapy and treatment for menopause (to treat symptoms such as hot flashes,
? Prenatal vitamins ? Sunscreen (not sun tanning lotion) ? Topical creams or other drugs to treat gingivitis that have a medical-only purpose ? Weight-loss drugs to treat a specific disease, including obesity
Excluded Items (OTC Drugs That are NOT Reimbursable, per the IRS)
? Toiletries, cosmetics or items primarily used for general health and every day living ? Toothpaste or toothbrushes (electric or otherwise), even if a dentist recommends them ? Chapstick, lip balms, etc. ? Mouth washes and oral rinses ? Face creams, cleansers, moisteners and suntan lotion ? Shampoos and soaps, including medicated ? Vitamins, minerals and amino acids ? Supplements (fiber, herbal or combination) for general health, weight loss, protection of
? Feminine hygiene products, cleansers ? Diet food ? Immune system support ? Personal use items, e.g., bed coverings/accessories, vacuums, furniture
Information is from the Physicians’ Desk Reference for Over-the-Counter Drugs, 2003 Edition. This list is not all-inclusive; it may change at
any time. Purchases are for consumption or use in the Plan Year; stockpiling of one or several items is not permitted and will be denied; especially at the end of a Plan Year.
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