Spend It and Claim It Web Guide

for Health Care and Dependent Care Plan Participants

OTC Prescription Quick Reference Guide

The 2010 Affordable Care Act included a provision that made over-the-counter (OTC) drugs ineligible for reimbursement from a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), or other pretax health care account, without a prescription from a doctor.

If your doctor-recommended treatment includes taking an OTC drug like Claritin, aspirin or Zantac, have your doctor give you a prescription so that you can use your account to save money on the cost.

What you need to know
To purchase the OTC drug or be reimbursed for the cost, you must first get a prescription from your doctor. The prescription must predate the purchase date or the claim will be denied. To be valid, the prescription will need to comply with state prescription laws, but generally, if it is written on a prescription pad, it should be sufficient.

Can the WageWorks Health Care Card be used to purchase OTC drugs?
Yes, if a valid prescription is presented at the time of purchase, and the purchase is made at a pharmacy counter and dispensed as a prescription item.

What specific OTC drugs DO and DO NOT require a prescription?
As a general rule, any OTC drug that you take orally or topically will require a prescription. What will not require a prescription are medical devices (such as monitors) and supplies (such as bandages and contact lens solution). Insulin and diabetic supplies are also items that will not require a prescription. For your convenience, we've created a summary list of common items that can and cannot be reimbursed without a doctor's prescription.

FSA Eligible Medical Items
That DO NOT Require a Prescription
FSA Eligible Medical Items
That DO Require a Prescription

Bandages and related items (over-the-counter)

Birth control (over-the-counter)

Blood pressure monitors

Cholesterol test kits and supplies


Contact lenses, cleaning solutions, etc.

Crutches, canes, walkers or like equipment (purchase or rental)

Dentures, bridges, etc.

Diabetic monitors, test kits, strips and supplies

Eye related equipment/materials

Fertility monitors (over-the-counter)

First aid kits (over-the-counter)

Hearing aids and batteries

Incontinence supplies

Insulin, testing materials and supplies

Magnetic therapy (over-the-counter)

Medical equipment (for treatment of medical condition) & repairs

Medical supplies (for treatment of a medical condition)

Monitors & test kits (over-the-counter)

Occlusal guards to prevent teeth grinding


Orthopedic and surgical supports

Ovulation monitor (over-the-counter)

Pregnancy tests (over-the-counter)

Reading glasses (over the counter)

Urological products

Wheelchair and repairs

Wound care (over-the-counter)

Broad Spectrum Sunblock (SPF15 and above)

Acne treatments

Allergy & sinus medicine and products


Antibiotic ointment

Aspirin or other pain relievers

Asthma medicines or treatments

Canker & cold sore treatments

Chest rubs

Cold & flu medicines

Corn and callus removers

Cough drops & sore throat lozenges

Cough syrup

Diaper rash ointments and creams

Ear drops & wax removal

Gastrointestinal medications

Herbal or homeopathic medicines


Lice treatments

Lip balm

Motion & nausea medicines

Over-the-counter products for dental, oral and teething pain

Propecia (for treatment of a medical condition)

Retin-A (for non-cosmetic purposes)

Sleep aids

Toothache and teething pain relievers

Wart removal treatments