Coronavirus Aid Package Would Change Rules on Purchases of #Tampons, Pads

The corona virus aid package before the house contains a provision that would allow flexible spending accounts to be used to pay for menstrual products.  Business Insider has the story (here):

The change in law would allow people to pay for pads, tampons, cups, sponges, and liners with flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts, which use pre-tax dollars taken from workers’ paychecks. Under current law, these accounts can be used for purchases from contact solution to sunscreen and aspirin, but not to pay for menstrual products. 

That would change under the coronavirus rescue package going before the House Friday and expected to get President Donald Trump’s signature this weekend. The bill would re-classify period products as “medical expenses,” allowing shoppers to buy them with their FSAs or HSA debit cards at the store.

This is a change that Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) has been advocating for years. It’s the right result, even if it requires classification of tampons and pads as “medical expenses,” which, of course, they aren’t — they are products women need to meet their involuntary biological needs. 

This might be a prime example of when “the perfect should not be the enemy of the good.” This change helps women at a time when the major public health crisis has thrown more families than ever into economic precarity. 

I wish it didn’t take something like the corona virus to make it politically possible to change the FSA rules to sensibly allow the purchase of these products with pre-tax dollars.

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