Are Coronavirus Expenses Eligible for FSA Reimbursement?

coronavirus expenses

The answer: it depends.

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues, many may be wondering which items are reimbursable by their Flexible Spending Account (FSA), and it is not always obvious which expenses their Flex plan classifies as eligible. In order to maximize the tax-advantaged savings of your FSA, let’s explore which healthcare related coronavirus expenses are eligible for reimbursement.

The IRS determines which expenses may be reimbursed by FSA plans.

Common FSA eligible expenses include:

  • Copayments
  • Dental and vision expenses
  • Both over-the-counter and prescription medications.

COVID-19 Related Expenses

Useful eligible items include:

  • First aid kits
  • Steam vaporizers
  • Thermometers

The FSA Store has created a list of FSA eligible items to help prepare for viral outbreaks.


PPE Now FSA Eligible  – Announcement 2021-7

This announcement notifies taxpayers that amounts paid for personal protective equipment, such as masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19 PPE) are now FSA eligible and are treated under § 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code).


It is important to note that each FSA plan is unique regarding what qualified expenses will be reimbursed, so consult your Summary Plan Description (SPD) to know which expenses your plan deems eligible.

IRS Regulations

We know how difficult it is stay on top of constantly changing regulations. BASIC does the hard work for our clients by providing them with summary communications and continuously updating their benefit plans to reflect any changes in new legislation. BASIC benefit experts make sure our clients’ plans are not only compliant, but designed in a way to maximize the utility to their participants.

 To learn how your business can benefit from BASIC FSA Administration, don’t wait!
4 replies
  1. Jon L.
    Jon L. says:

    Do you know if anything is being done to encourage the IRS to include PPE and other items to reduce viral transmission of COVID? It seems insane to me that disposable masks and hand sanitizer are not included, even temporarily, for 2020. I am saving my receipts for these items just in case they retroactively approve them, but what is the hold up? The prices for these items have gone up substantially in many cases, and this would certainly help folks out! Is there a petition out there for this? Thanks!

    • Simon Carlson
      Simon Carlson says:

      Unfortunately certain personal use items including PPE, hand sanitizer, and gloves are still not eligible. We will be sure to post an update if these rules change.

  2. Paul Metzger
    Paul Metzger says:

    I am baffled why coronavirus prevention products are not a reimbursable expense. Baby wipes and sunscreen are covered, but not masks to prevent catching a deadly disease?! And even though masks are required by law in some states.

  3. Veronica
    Veronica says:

    I just wanted to let you know when I googled IRS announcement 2021-7 I had a question if the sanitizing wipes meant household cleaning wipes. I scrooled to the bottom of announcement and it said IRS Counsel who was main author of this announcement Amy Wei and gives her phone number, I called and spoke to her directly and asked does the wording sanitizing wipes mean I can claim household sanitizing wipes or cleaners for my home on my FSA or income tax return? She said it should maybe been worded better but no you absolutely cannot claim household wipes etc on either. Sanitizing wipes were meant only for skin wipes. So just wanted to let others know they shouldn’t read sanitizing wipes as ones to clean the home. Can always go to the actual announcement and get the phone number and call her, she was very willing to speak to me and was nice.

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