If you get hit with spring fever, one of your stops should be cleaning out the medicine cabinet. You’ll want to tackle the project by throwing away expired medicines, evaluating if you need any new items, and replacing old supplies.
Three Steps to Organization
Tossing Expired Items
According to this article from the CDC, you should check the dates on medicines twice a year. Generally, you should throw them away if the label says they are expired. However, there are different perspectives on how long medications remain potent. Beyond OTC or Rx items, check the expiration dates on products like contact lens solution.
Finally, make sure you have up-to-date first aid supplies. A simple solution is to purchase a First Aid Kit online or at a local pharmacy.
Evaluating New Needs
Another thing you’ll want to evaluate as you’re cleaning out the medicine cabinet are any new healthcare needs. Should you get foot insoles for your sandals before going to the beach? Maybe you’re sore from opening up the pool and should buy heating pads to calm your muscles. If you’re expecting a new addition to the family, you may need prenatal vitamins or other items. (See #9 on our list of “Weirdest Eligible Expenses“.) Or perhaps you or a dependent needs a little more support in the form of a cane.
As summer approaches, you can also explore items like sunscreen and transition glasses (as long as they’re prescription lenses.) However, not all sunscreen items are eligible. If you do buy sunscreen or lip balm, it must be 15 SPF or higher.
Buying Replacements & Updates
Finally, if you find anything broken, missing pieces, or that isn’t the right size, it might be time for an update. For example, if you have an ankle brace but the clasp doesn’t work any more, you’ll want a replacement. If your child has seasonal allergies, you may want to consider making an appointment for allergy shots. For older dependents, it is a good time to check if they need their hearing aid batteries replaced. Even though you might not encounter these items while cleaning out the medicine cabinet, it’s still good to check them off your list.
Before You Buy…
Check your plan highlights. Depending on how your employer has arranged your plan, especially if you have a Health Reimbursement Account, some items may not be eligible. You can find more information on your plan by logging in to your account on BRiWeb.com and going to the Documents section. If this is your first time visiting BRiWeb in 2018, you may notice some changes, as we released an update in January. To enjoy the new features, make sure you register your account.
You’re officially ready to start cleaning out the medicine cabinet!