Good news everyone!
(Well, good news for anyone who lives in the U.S. like yours truly!)
The U.S finally approved menstrual care products for health care FSA reimbursement!
About time right?
If you’re someone who’s ever menstruated, you know how absolutely essential having the menstrual products you need during your period is!
How it took them so long to get that figured out and approved, I’ll probably never know — but that’s a conversation for a different time.
Before We Begin
First off — let’s shoot for a little clarification here on what an FSA is, exactly.
FSA stands for Flexible Spending Account (or aka flexible spending arrangement).
It’s similar to a regular bank account but special in that it is only used for out-of-pocket health care expenses. You also don’t pay taxes on this money, so that’s pretty cool.
FSA is also unique in that it’s a ‘use it or lose it’ kind of an account.
You pay for it out of your paychecks throughout the year (if you signed up for it through your employer). The major bonus for an FSA is that money you plan on putting into it is available upfront.
Though there is a limit of $ 2,650. Be sure to keep that in mind when planning out your health expenses and how much you’ll need for the year.
Remember not to put in more money then you’ll think you’ll use in a year’s time. Once the year is up, that money is gone.
I’m going to show you two different ways to use your FSA for your menstrual products.
One will be to submit a claim manually through your FSA site.
The other will be when you pay with your FSA card.
This is going to be the simplest step and one you’re already familiar with because you’ve likely been doing it for years.
Buy your menstrual products!
And make sure to keep your receipt! (You’re going to need that later)
Login to your FSA account.
This step may look a little different depending on how your FSA is set up.
But since FSA is an exclusively employer-established business plan, the general process should be the same.
Navigate to your Flexible Spending Accounts.
Depending on the system and how long you’ve been with your employer, you may see more than one account.
Verify the one you need is there by clicking on the correct year.
From here you should see a ‘submit claim’ button or a link.
You then need to fill out the requested information. These should be generally the same no matter who you have your FSA through.
Fields that need to be filled :
- Service start date
- Account type (if you have more then one FSA. I also have a seperate one for daycare.)
- Claim amount.
There will be other miscellaneous fields you can fill. The more information you can provide, the better!
After that, you will be asked to include a receipt.
Attach the receipt that shows you buying your menstrual products.
And that’s it for you — until you hear back from the company.
They’ll either tell you that it was approved or that they need more information.
If the latter is the case, continue to step 5.
Step 5 (if needed)
Hopefully, you will not need this step, but if you do, it’s here for you.
I’ve submitted claims before only for them to email me and tell me that my receipt doesn’t have enough information.
The good news is that most businesses offer itemized receipts. Especially if you buy from somewhere other than a big box store.
I recommend buying right from the source online. This way you can quickly and easily send them an email for a more detailed receipt.
Then just go back to the already submitted claim and add your new receipt to it.
Buying with your FSA card
There is also the case when you have your own FSA debit card.
This makes things a LOT easier.
It even cuts out a few more steps!
Use your card to purchase your menstrual care products.
Keep your receipt!
And this may be all you need to do!
Unlike with the manual process listed above — when you use your card, you don’t have to do much until you hear from your FSA. You will receive an email or other notification that they need further documentation.
All you need to do is log in to your FSA account.
You should see a section labeled ‘transactions’. This is where you want to look for it. Find your menstrual care product transaction.
Attach a digital copy of your receipt here and make sure it includes the date!
(I’ve gotten burned by that one a few times. And most recently when buying a menstrual cup online.)
Step 3 – if needed
This step is the same as step #5 above.
Your company may want additional information. Reach out to the company you bought your menstrual products from to get an itemized receipt.
But if not…
So here’s two quick and easy ways to get your menstrual care products approved!
If you have an FSA card, use it!
Otherwise, you’re now an expert and can do it manually too!
If you have any other questions or concerns about your FSA process, talk to your HR or the company that holds your FSA account. They will be able to help point you in the right direction.
My name is Anna Worms. And yes. I did marry into that name. I’m a women’s health copywriter with a passion for menstrual health especially. I’m a small-town girl from Minnesota and love my little rural community. You know the Twin Cities right? Well where I live is about two hours west of that. Needless to say anytime we want to travel there’s always a little bit of drive time first.