Anti-Gas Medicine: HSA Eligibility

Anti-Gas Medicine: requires a prescription to be eligible with a Health Savings Account (HSA)

Anti-gas medicine reimbursement is eligible with a prescription with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Anti-gas medicine reimbursement is not eligible with a limited care flexible spending account (LCFSA) or a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

How do anti-gas medicines work?

The bloating, discomfort, and flatulence that comes with gastrointestinal issues is typically linked to gas, or the buildup of air in the GI tract that is caused naturally from the body's normal physiological functions. Excessive gas buildup in the body can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, and many turn to over-the-counter (OTC) anti-gas medicines for fast-acting relief.

The primary ingredient found in most anti-gas medicines is Simethicone, which alleviates the painful symptoms of excessive gas buildup in the stomach and intestines by allowing gas bubbles to come together, therefore allowing them to pass more easily. In addition to its over-the-counter variants available in tablets, liquids and capsules, Simethicone also has a role in mainstream medicine and it is typically given to patients before undergoing a gastroscopy or a radiography to examine the bowel (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

What are the causes of gas buildup?

The body naturally produces gas during digestion, but excessive buildup can be the signs of an underlying problem, such as an overgrowth of intestinal bacteria, obstructions in the bowl or a simple sensitivity to gas buildup. In some cases, anti-gas medicines can clear up symptoms, but will not treat the underlying cause of the problem.

In addition to taking anti-gas medicines, a few lifestyle changes could make a huge difference in the continual buildup of gas in the stomach and intestines. Taking probiotics to balance the growth of bacteria in the GI tract, advanced medications to treat constipation and irritable bowel syndrome or dietary changes could contribute to the normalization of the body's gas production. In particular, avoid gas-causing vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, fiber-rich foods and sugars like lactose and fructose (Mayo Clinic).

Why do anti-gas medicines require a prescription for reimbursement?

As a result of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), as of January 1, 2011, OTC items containing an active medical ingredient require a prescription for reimbursement with an FSA, HSA or HRA. To reimburse the cost of OTC medicines and drugs under FSAs, HSAs and other consumer spending accounts, account holders must submit a prescription for each product.

However, not every OTC product falls under this distinction and thousands of products continue to remain eligible without a prescription including bandages, first aid supplies, most sunscreens, diagnostic products, products for infant care and so much more. For more information on a specific product, be sure to consult our Eligibility List.

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Specifically Not Covered

Not eligible without a prescription.

Legal Information / Regulations

Prescription Required. Information Letter (IL) 2009-0209; Notice 2010-59.