Medicated Shampoo: FSA Eligibility

Medicated shampoo, when prescribed by a medical professional, is eligible for reimbursement with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA), a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Medicated shampoo is not eligible with a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA) or a limited care flexible spending account (LCFSA).

What is medicated shampoo?

Medicated shampoo is a type of shampoo that applies a medicine to the scalp. Shampoo is an effective way to apply medicine to the scalp when treating certain diseases or conditions of the scalp or hair. Common conditions for which medicated shampoo are typically prescribed include sunburn, dandruff, eczema, psoriasis, bacterial and fungal infections, and lice. Common medications that are included in medicated shampoo include sunblocking agents, antibacterial medication, anthralin, antifungal agents, benzoyl peroxide, coal tar, corticosteroids, retinoids, and salicylic acid (Pharmacy Times).

Medicated shampoo must be prescribed to treat a disease or condition of the scalp or hair in order to be eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare plan. Medicated shampoo must be prescribed to treat a disease or condition of the scalp or hair, and not simply for cosmetic purposes, in order to be eligible for reimbursement.

Most medicated shampoos have specific instructions on their labelling or packaging that describe how to use the shampoo. Some medicated shampoos require specific application techniques or a set duration of contact with the hair or scalp in order to provide a medical benefit. Some medicated shampoos require a specific periodicity of use, or should not be used too often, in order to maintain a healthy scalp. Medicated shampoos will have instructions detailing all risks, side effects, warnings, and specific instructions for use. The medical professional who prescribes the medicated shampoo will also be able to explain the purpose of the shampoo, and how to integrate it into a healthcare treatment plan for a medical condition or disease (LIVESTRONG).

Medicated shampoo may be brand-name or generic, Over-the-Counter (OTC) or prescription only. A prescription must be acquired, regardless, for reimbursement eligibility. Medicated shampoo may be one part of a treatment plan for a disease or condition of the scalp or hair, or it may be the entirety of the treatment.

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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

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Specifically Not Covered

Not eligible without a prescription.

Legal Information / Regulations

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