The CARES Act. The historic two trillion-dollar aid package has welcomed relief for millions of American workers and small business owners.  But did you know that the CARES Act included two major changes to help Americans maximize their health care dollars?

Over the counter drugs.

First, over the counter (OTC) drugs will no longer require a prescription to be eligible for reimbursement.  Common OTC items such as Tylenol and Claritin may be purchased with FSA, HSA or HRA (depending on HRA plan design) dollars.  Second, menstrual care products are now eligible for reimbursement under FSAs, HSAs, and HRAs.  Both changes are effective immediately and retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020.

Submit manual claims for reimbursement.

For the immediate future, participants may submit manual claims for reimbursement of these items, and because the change is effective Jan. 1, 2020, participants may be reimbursed for qualified purchases made after Dec. 31, 2019.  Participants will be able to use their PrimePay FLEX Card to purchase eligible items at the point of sale very soon. 

The Special Interest Group for IIAS Standards (SIGIS IIAS) inventory system is widely used by merchants to process debit card transactions.  SIGIS is actively reviewing approximately 20,000 OTC drug and menstrual care items for publication of their next Eligible Product List scheduled for April 15, 2020.  As soon as a participating merchant downloads and processes the updated Eligible Product List, participants will be able to use the PrimePay FLEX Card to purchase these items. 

We should also expect significant additions to be published in subsequent months as participating merchants and manufacturers submit new items to SIGIS for review.

As excited as we are for these changes, we must be patient while SIGIS and participating merchants update their system for this change.  Our FLEX participants may have inconsistent shopping experiences until all participating merchants have implemented the new eligible item list.  OTC items may be allowed at one merchant but not another.  Until all participating merchants have updated their systems, participants may submit manual claims for these items. and sites are scheduled to accept the PrimePay FLEX card for OTC items on April 15th.  Feminine care products are scheduled to be available by the end of April. 

How PrimePay can help.

Have questions about the newest legislation as a result of COVID-19 or simply need legal guidance on a challenging HR scenario? Click here to learn more about how you can get personalized answers to your questions through our new solution PrimePay HR Counsel. 

Disclaimer: Please note that this is not all-inclusive. Our guidance is designed only to give general information on the issues covered. It is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all laws which may apply to your situation, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion. Consult your legal advisor regarding the specific application of the information to your plan.