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Hall Pass (Episode 1): CARES Act Q&A


We’ve started a new video series called “Hall Pass” featuring Jason Hall, CEO of Benefit Resource. This week’s topic is the CARES Act, signed into law by the president on March 27th. The primary purpose of the Act was supporting small businesses. But, there are a few provisions within it that are relevant to the consumer-directed health industry. Watch the CARES Act Q&A with Jason Hall and VP of Strategy Becky Seefeldt. Watch the video below:


Question 1: How will the over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and medicines provision of the CARES Act affect plan participants?

OTC drugs and medicines can now be purchased with FSAs, HSAs, and HRAs without a prescription. This change is permanent.

Question 2: Are there other new items that can be purchased using pre-tax funds?

Menstrual care products are now an eligible expense. Items can be purchased with funds from your FSA, HSA, or HRA. This change is permanent.

Question 3: Is COVID-19 considered a qualifying event? 

COVID-19 is not currently considered a qualifying event. Until this happens, there can be no election changes for Medical FSAs. Election changes for Dependent Care FSAs can be made at any time.

Question 4: Are there any COBRA subsidies included in the CARES Act?

At this time, no COBRA provisions have been passed. For now, other unemployment-related provisions are included in the CARES Act to aid individuals in this burden.

Question 5: Is there a centralized location on the BRI website for more information on COVID-19?

Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center to get the latest information regarding the coronavirus in relation to pre-tax benefits and COBRA.

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