Petroleum Jelly: FSA Eligibility
What is petroleum jelly?
Petroleum jelly is promoted as a topical ointment with healing properties that could be helpful in the event of scrapes, burns and rashes, and can also be used as a safe lubricant. Petroleum jelly was developed by a young chemist named Robert Chesebrough, who traveled to Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859 where he discovered that oil workers in the region used a material called rod wax, an unrefined version of petroleum jelly that formed on oil rigs, that the workers used on wounded or burnt skin. Chesebrough was intrigued by the substance's healing benefits and distilled the material into a lighter and transparent gel, which was patented in 1865 and was released to the market as Vaseline Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline).
What are the uses for petroleum jelly?
When it was initially introduced, petroleum jelly was marketed as a "wonder drug" that was used on everything from toenail fungus to nosebleeds to chest colds, but over the years the product's usage has narrowed significantly. Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved petroleum jelly as an over-the-counter (OTC) skin protectant and its primary role is in cosmetic skincare.
However, petroleum jelly has numerous uses in the medical realm as well, as it is used during the post-operative period following laser skin resurfacing to protect and prevent moisture loss of the skin. These moisture-saving properties are also helpful in cosmetic skincare, such as preventing chapped hands and lips, as well as softening nail cuticles. Additionally, petroleum jelly is used to provide heat insulation, as it can be used to keep swimmers warm in water during training or prevent chilling of the face due to the evaporation of skin moisture during cold, outdoor activities. Petroleum jelly has limited medical uses, but innumerable benefits for general health and household uses that make it one of the most popular consumer medical products on the market today (Healthline).
How do I obtain a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) for petroleum jelly?
A Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) for petroleum jelly is necessary for reimbursement with most benefits providers to ensure that it is necessary for the treatment of a medical condition. This letter must outline how an account holder's medical condition necessitates petroleum jelly, how the treatment will be used to alleviate the issue and how long the treatment will last. If the treatment plan exceeds the current plan year, another LMN will have to be provided to the benefits administrator to cover the duration of the treatment.