On March 27, 2020, the U.S. Senate signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), in response to the COVID-19 virus. The bill made even more items eligible for coverage. For the first time, HSAs cover over-the-counter medicine and feminine care products, including tampons, pads, liners, cups, and sponges.
With restrictions lifting in certain cases, virus preparedness products are high in demand for both private and public use.
The infrared thermometer, for instance, now has a larger public role. Offices and day cares have begun monitoring people with a touchless forehead thermometer before allowing them to enter buildings.
In addition, U.S. officials at 12 American airports began checking passenger temperatures in May 2020. As of June 2020, Frontier Airlines began checking every ticketed passenger on their flights. Other airports and airlines are likely to follow suit. In fall when school begins again, districts are considering performing temperature checks on students as a regular part of the day. As a result, self-monitoring will increase for individuals and families.
Due to the respiratory aspect of COVID-19, nebulizers, steam inhalers, and neti pots have become popular purchases. Americans are also buying more over-the-counter cold medicines and pain relievers, both helpful with more common virus symptoms.
As for services, COVID-19 has increased the use of telehealth appointments. When health care providers offer video appointments instead of in-person visits, the services are commonly covered by HSA. As for mental health services, which are a concern during the coronavirus era, online therapy apps (in some cases) are also eligible for HSA payment.
Consumer behavior changes with the environment, and while no one can predict what items and services will become popular, people can depend on their HSAs to help keep health care purchases affordable.
To purchase timely HSA-eligible products online, visit the CYC Marketplace.
About the Author
Carla Wardin lives in St Johns, Michigan, where she focuses her writing on the health and technology industries.