Spring is in the air. This means that common seasonal allergy triggers like pollen is too. Fortunately, you can combat these allergy symptoms using funds from your HSA, FSA or HRA. We’ll tell you how shortly. First, we’ll cover how to tell if your symptoms likely indicate allergies or another ailment. This will help ensure that you can treat symptoms effectively.
Allergy symptoms vs. COVID-19 symptoms
Before we get into combating seasonal allergies, let’s cover the question that is probably running through your mind right now: is it allergies or coronavirus? It could also be the flu or a common cold. With all the possibilities, how do you know whether you should contact your doctor to get tested for COVID-19?
A big indicator that your seasonal allergies are flaring up is sneezing. However, there’s always the possibility that you have multiple ailments at once. To help you determine what you have, we’ve put together a chart using information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and American College of Allergy. Check it out below.
For more information about COVID-19, please check out our COVID-19 Resources page.
Eligible items to help treat your allergy symptoms
Whether you have allergies or another ailment, you can use your HSA, FSA or HRA pre-tax dollars to help you get through it. Please note that the lists below are not complete, but are intended to aid you in determining what over-the-counter (OTC) items may be an eligible expense. Limited Medical FSA/HRA plan participants should review their Plan to see if OTC items are eligible.
OTC medical supplies
The following items are eligible expenses:
- Hot and cold packs
- First aid supplies
- Medicines droppers/spoons
- Steam inhalers
OTC drugs and medicines
Due to the recent passage of the CARES Act, you can now purchase OTC drugs and medicines without needing to obtain a prescription first (effective January 2020). Here are some eligible expense items:
- Allergy and sinus medications (e.g. Benadryl, Claritin, Sudafed)
- Cough, cold & flu remedies
- Nasal sprays and mists
- Pain relievers (e.g. aspirin, Excedrin, Tylenol, Advil, Motrin)
Over the coming months, merchants will be working to update their systems to correctly identify these additional items as eligible. This will likely take some time, and you may initially have an inconsistent experience if using your Beniversal® Prepaid Mastercard®. In the meantime, just submit those claims through BRiWeb or the BRiMobile app.
Here are some resources that can help you through the process of submitting a claim: