Gas Relievers: FSA Eligibility

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

How do gas relievers work?

The bloating, discomfort and flatulence that comes with gastrointestinal issues is typically linked to gas, or the buildup of air in the GI tract that is caused naturally from the body's normal physiological functions. Excessive gas buildup in the body can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, and many turn to over-the-counter (OTC) gas relievers for fast-acting relief.

The primary ingredient found in most gas relievers is simethicone, which alleviates the painful symptoms of excessive gas buildup in the stomach and intestines by allowing gas bubbles to come together, therefore allowing them to pass more easily. In addition to its over-the-counter variants available in tablets, liquids and capsules, simethicone also has a role in mainstream medicine and it is typically given to patients before undergoing a gastroscopy or a radiography to examine the bowel.

What are the causes of gas buildup?

The body naturally produces gas during digestion, but excessive buildup can be the signs of an underlying problem, such as an overgrowth of intestinal bacteria, obstructions in the bowl or a simple sensitivity to gas buildup. In some cases, anti-gas medicines can clear up symptoms, but will not treat the underlying cause of the problem.

In addition to taking gas relievers, a few lifestyle changes could make a huge difference in the continual buildup of gas in the stomach and intestines. Taking probiotics to balance the growth of bacteria in the GI tract, advanced medications to treat constipation and irritable bowel syndrome or dietary changes could contribute to the normalization of the body's gas production. In particular, avoid gas-causing vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, fiber-rich foods and sugars like lactose and fructose.

Why do gas relievers require a prescription for reimbursement?

As a result of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), as of January 1, 2011, a new set of uniform standards were put into place regarding the reimbursement of medical expenses. To reimburse the cost of OTC medicines and drugs under FSAs, HSAs and other consumer spending accounts, account holders must submit a prescription from a physician for each product. This does not apply to the reimbursement of the cost of insulin, but common OTC products like pain relief medications, cold & flu products and more require a prescription for reimbursement.

However, not every OTC product falls under this distinction, as products like bandages, first aid supplies, diagnostic products and more do not require a prescription. For more information on a specific product, please consult our Eligibility List.

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

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.

 


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