What is the CARES Act?

The CARES Act is a bill passed by the U.S. government on March 27, 2020, that provides several provisions to assist individuals and businesses dealing with the coronavirus COVID-19 and the economic impact of it. CARES stands for The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Trump Signs CARES Act

Provisions of the CARES Act include extensions in making certain tax payments, stimulus payments to individuals, and changes in rules regarding payment rates for some durable medical equipment under Medicare. Also, the Act includes changes that can affect your employees.

Some provisions affect how certain health-related costs are now reimbursable under Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). Here is a summary of some healthcare-related changes you should note:

  • Menstrual care products are now recognized as medical care. This makes them reimbursable under the plans noted above.
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are now reimbursable without a doctor’s prescription or any other doctor’s note. Recognized OTC drugs are those marketed for consumers without the need for a prescription or overseeing physician.
  • The new law does not cover vitamins, herbal remedies, and nutritional supplements unless they are prescribed by a doctor.

It should be noted that OTC drugs are reimbursable, but it is the consumer’s responsibility to provide proper documentation of their purchases using receipts showing the date, description of the drug, and the cost. A normal drugstore or grocery receipt with this information should be sufficient. Also, if an employee has both an HSA and HRA, the HSA must be used first and its funds exhausted before submitting costs to the HRA.

First Day Films helps employers with healthcare program information, human resources topics, and other required employer-supplied education with our excellent video productions. We can assist in providing online video education for your employees that will allow you to free up time for your HR staff. Contact us for more information at 833-422-7332.