Joint pain relievers: FSA Eligibility

Joint pain relievers are eligible with a prescription by a medical doctor for reimbursement with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA), or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Joint pain relievers are not eligible with a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA) or a limited care flexible spending account (LCFSA).

What are joint pain relievers?

The term joint pain reliever describes various medications, thermotherapy packs, and compresses which relieve pain in unspecified joint areas, like elbows or knees. Joints are the links between bones in the body, and tend to have specific problems which are treatable by a variety of means. The problems with joints tend to have certain things in common, regardless of which joint is experiencing pain: swelling, inflammation, weak muscles, damage to connective tissue, etc. are all associated with joint pain. Specific medical conditions that can cause or are associated with joint pain include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, gout, strains and injuries.

Joint pain relievers work on an extremely common problem; over one-third of Americans in one recent national study reported experiencing some sort of joint pain in the last 30 days. The most common types of joint pain include knee pain, hip pain, wrist pain, and shoulder pain.

Joint pain relievers come in the form of medications such as Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen, and milder drugs like acetaminophen. Other items that are considered joint pain relievers are thermotherapy devices such as hot/cold pads that can be heated or chilled to soothe a joint, moist heat treatment compresses that provide heat in one direction and have color-coding to indicate when their temperature has decreased, and dietary supplements which help joints repair and stay healthy by providing vitamin D, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

Other examples of joint pain relievers include topically applied creams like capsaicin, which blocks pain-transmitting signals and encourages endorphin release; steroid injections that can temporarily ease joint paint for several months in the case of arthritis and tendinitis; and fluid release from an inflamed joint.

Joint pain relievers must be prescribed by a medical doctor for the treatment of a medical condition in order to be considered eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account. Most joint pain relievers are Over-the-Counter (OTC) items, except for certain prescription muscle relaxers. Even though they're OTC, the doctor's prescription is necessary.

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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

Eligible with Rx

Eligible with LMN

Not Eligible

 


AZ-PROD-WEB01 11/18/2017 10:24:48 AM