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6 surprising women's health care products covered by FSA and HSA
You can buy more with your medical expense accounts than you think. Here’s what to know.
This year, you got a medical expense account through your employer. That’s an account that lets you set aside money to pay for certain health products and services.
But now you’re asking yourself, “What can I use it for?”
The good news: You have some options. You can use your account to pay for deductibles. A deductible is the amount you pay for health care until your insurance kicks in. And you can use the funds on copayments. Those are the fixed amounts that you pay for health services.
You can also use your accounts to pay for certain health care products. (Learn more about those below.)
First, let’s look at the types of expense accounts you might have through your employer.1 A flexible spending account (FSA) is a type of account you can put pretax dollars in. That means you don’t have to pay federal income taxes on those dollars.
You can use these funds to pay for certain medical costs or products. Usually, you get an FSA through your employer.
You might also have a health savings account (HSA), which earns interest and is set up through your employer’s benefits program. You can put money into it for life. But you can get an HSA only if you have a high deductible health plan (HDHP).
An HDHP is a type of health plan that has a high deductible. So, if you have an HDHP, that means you’ll have to pay more before your insurance kicks in. For 2023, those deductibles start at $1,500 for individuals and $3,000 for families. The maximum out-of-pocket expenses are $7,500 for individuals and $15,000 for families.
Use your HSA/FSA to save on hundreds of health expenses from medical copays to pain relievers. See if your health expenses qualify with our free medical expense tool.
1. Menstrual products
You can use your FSA or HSA funds to pay for a range of menstrual products. These include:
- Menstrual cups (such as the DivaCup)
- Menstrual cup cleansers (such as DivaWash)
- Period underwear (has higher capacity than a tampon)
2. Bladder control products
If you have trouble controlling your bladder, you may benefit from bladder control pads. You can buy these with both your FSA and HSA.
These pads may also be helpful if you recently gave birth. They can be used during the day or at night. Besides offering dryness, they can help with odor control.
A pelvic floor training device is another bladder control product you can buy with your FSA/HSA. This helps strengthen the muscles around your bladder, rectum and uterus.2 The device may help you boost bladder and bowel control. Strengthening these muscles can also make childbirth easier.
3. Pregnancy preparation products
Trying to get pregnant? You can use your FSA/HSA funds to pay for:
- A female hormone test. This can help you know when your body’s ready to become pregnant. These tests cannot be purchased in New Jersey or Rhode Island.
- A fertility tracker. This can also help you track when your body’s ready to become pregnant.3
- Over-the-counter (OTC) prenatal vitamins
4. Nursing supplies
5. Feminine hygiene products
You can pay for OTC feminine hygiene products, such as yeast infection treatments, using your FSA/HSA. You might also see these called vaginal antifungal care products. You can get them in different strength levels.
6. Protective lip balm
You might not think your lips need protection when you’re out in the sun all day, but they do. However, you can use your FSA/HSA funds to pay for lip balms with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
Bottom line: Have you been paying out of pocket for items such as the ones listed above? You might not have to. If you have an FSA or HSA, you could save on these health care items and more. Use this medical expense eligibility tool to help you figure out what is eligible.
You can buy sunscreen and other summer-related items at the Optum Store — all from the comfort of home. Start exploring.
- Internal Revenue Service. Health savings accounts and other tax-favored health plans. Updated February 1, 2023. Accessed March 16, 2023
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Kegel exercises. Updated November 2021. Accessed March 10, 2023.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Fertility awareness-based methods of family planning. Published January 2019. Accessed March 10, 2023.
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