Expectorants: FSA Eligibility

Expectorants are eligible for reimbursement with a prescription with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Expectorants are not eligible with a limited care flexible spending account (LCFSA) or a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

What are expectorants?

Expectorants are a type of mucokinetic drug which aids in the clearing of mucus from the airways, lungs, bronchi, and trachea. Expectorants facilitate the drainage of mucus from the lungs. Expectorants work by signaling the body to increase the amount of secretions, allowing the action of coughing to more effectively clear airways (Drugs.com).

Expectorants are used for respiratory difficulties such as coughs and colds, when the airway is obstructed by thick mucus and breathing becomes problematic (WebMD). There are many Over the Counter (OTC) expectorants and also many prescription expectorants. Both types require a prescription in order to be considered eligible for reimbursement under a consumer-directed healthcare account.

Many anti-cold symptom and anti-cough medications incorporate expectorants into their ingredients. Also, many doctors will prescribe a range of drugs, including expectorants, for individuals requiring relief from cold symptoms or experiencing a cough. Expectorants are normally ingested orally in pill form or as part of a syrup. Expectorants require a coughing action to properly clear the breathing passage and airways. The thinned mucus will more easily clear out because of the expectorant. The airway will subsequently be better lubricated and less irritated. Carefully check to ensure expectorant instructions are followed for the duration of their use. Some medications may conflict with the effects of expectorants, such as cough suppressants.

Eligibility Table

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Limited Care FSA Dependent Care FSA Health Savings Account (HSA) Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)


Eligible with Rx

Eligible with LMN

Not Eligible

Additional Information

FSAstore.com's Prescription Process can help. Click Here to learn more.

Specifically Not Covered

Not eligible without a prescription.

Legal Information / Regulations

Prescription Required. Information Letter (IL) 2009-0209; Notice 2010-59.