Anti-Bacterial Hand Sanitizer: FSA Eligibility

Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer is an over-the-counter (OTC) item that is eligible for reimbursement when required for the treatment, mitigation, diagnosis or cure of a medical condition with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer is not eligible for reimbursement with a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA) or a limited care flexible spending account (LCFSA). A benefits administrator will typically require a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) to prove that the item is in fact eligible.

What is anti-bacterial hand sanitizer?

Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer is an antiseptic that typically contains ethyl alcohol as a primary ingredient to kill viruses and bacteria that a person can come into contact with over the course of the day and may still linger on their extremities. While the most effective means of cleaning one's hands is still warm water and soap, anti-bacterial hand sanitizer was invented in 1966 as a means of preventing the spread of pathogens and disease when traditional means weren't available.

While ethyl alcohol is the primary ingredient found in most commercial anti-bacterial hand sanitizers, they may also contain water, fragrance and glycerin as well. However, as more products come to market and some individuals opt for homemade remedies, it's vital to remember that the alcohol concentration found in these products is pivotal for their germ-killing abilities. When shopping for anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, pay particular attention to the ingredient lists, and in particular, the product's overall alcohol concentration. Ethyl alcohol, ethanol, isopropanol or other variations are acceptable, but anti-bacterial hand sanitizer must contain an alcohol concentration between 60 and 95 percent to truly eliminate viruses and bacteria (Center for Disease Control and Prevention).

Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer and FSA/HSA/HRA reimbursement

Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer will only be eligible when the primary purpose of the item is for treatment, diagnosis, mitigation or cure of a disease and when the item would not otherwise be purchased but for that primary purpose. A benefits administrator will require documentation to show that the item qualifies for reimbursement, and may not reimburse the item at all. It is advisable to speak with your benefits administrator to determine exactly what will be required in order for this item to qualify.

Eligibility Table

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

Eligible

Eligible with Rx

Eligible with LMN

Not Eligible

Legal Information / Regulations

Information Letter 2009-0209



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