COVID-19 Updates for Your FSA and HSA


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is Congress’s latest coronavirus relief package and was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act is the largest economic relief bill in United States history and will provide support to individuals and businesses affected by the pandemic.

Whether you are a UVA Employee on the UVA Health Plan or a UPG employee, we want you to know important information about how you can use the Flexible Spending Account and Health Savings Account.

Over-the-counter drugs and medicines are now eligible expenses through a Healthcare FSA or HSA without a prescription:
You are now able to purchase, or be reimbursed for, over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, Motrin, cough suppressants and other items that used to require a prescription using your Healthcare FSA or HSA without a prescription. In addition, any menstrual hygiene products may also be purchased or reimbursed using your Healthcare FSA or HSA with this new law.

The law is retroactive to January 1, 2020, meaning any over-the-counter medications or menstrual products you have purchased since January 1, 2020 can be reimbursed from your Healthcare FSA or HSA, if you have not already been reimbursed previously using a prescription.

If you have a Chard Snyder Benny card, it will take a few months before merchants can update their systems to align with the new law. In the interim, you can file a claim to be reimbursed from your FSA or request an online distribution from your HSA. 

Learn more:

Qualified Life Events for Dependent Daycare Accounts (DCS) Flexible Spending Account:
In the response to COVID-19, many of us have experienced changes in childcare needs, with many daycare, afterschool, and summer camp closings. These situations are considered a qualifying life event, which can be used to stop the dependent care account (DCA).

Examples of qualifying life events include:

  • Care program or camp canceling due to COVID-19
  • Electing to unenroll your child due to safety concerns resulting from COVID-19
  • Changing your worksite from an office to your home

Please see additional information and submission instructions.