Acetaminophen: FSA Eligibility

Acetaminophen: requires a prescription to be eligible with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

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

What is acetaminophen?

Acetaminophen, the primary ingredient found in Tylenol, is one of the most popular medications in the U.S. and is used to treat a wide array of maladies. It is an analgesic (pain reliever) and antipyretic (fever-reducer) drug that is most commonly used to treat headaches, as well as minor aches in pains usually associated with joints and muscles (U.S. Food and Drug Administration).

Acetaminophen was developed in the late 19th century, but wasn't used in a medical capacity until 1946 when the Institute for the Study of Analgesics and Sedative Drugs awarded a grant to the New York City Department of Health to examine the health implications of some analgesic agents. In 1948, Bernard Brodie and Julius Axelrod, the lead researchers of the study, found that acetaminophen did not have the toxic effects of other analgesic agents on the market and advocated for its widespread usage in pain relief. In 1955, acetaminophen went on sale in the U.S. under the brand name, "Tylenol," and continues to be one of the most popular pain relievers on the market.

Why do I need a prescription for acetaminophen reimbursement?

As a result of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), as of January 1, 2011, OTC items containing an active medical ingredient require a prescription for reimbursement with an FSA, HSA or HRA. To reimburse the cost of OTC medicines and drugs under FSAs, HSAs and other consumer spending accounts, account holders must submit a prescription for each product.

However, not every OTC product falls under this distinction and thousands of products continue to remain eligible without a prescription including bandages, first aid supplies, most sunscreens, diagnostic products, products for infant care and so much more. For more information on a specific product, be sure to consult our Eligibility List.

Looking to check the eligibility of something else? Thousands of products and services qualify!

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Specifically Not Covered

Acetaminophen is not eligible for reimbursement without a prescription.

Legal Information / Regulations

Supported by Information Letter (IL) 2009-0209 and Notice 2010-59

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