2020,  Body,  Health,  Musings,  Period

Musings: Tampons, Thanks Pandemic

It’s about DAMN time!!

I’ve been so heated about this topic for a long time. Women DESERVE to use pre-tax, health funds to buy stuff for their periods. I deserve it. All women deserve it!

Thanks to COVID-19, we can now use our HSA accounts to buy tampons (or pads if you’re a psycho)! Also, you can retroactively reimburse yourself for any purchases made since January 1, 2020.

I am way too excited for this! Bless the saint who snuck this into the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act!

You may think you are prepared for thinking about health insurance when you enter the workforce. But then they hand you the packet of options and you’re just like UHHHHHH! Just like there isn’t a real way to prepare a young girl for when her first period comes.

I remember being somewhat overwhelmed by the benefits packet HR gave me. PPO. HMO. High deductible plan. FSA account. Limited FSA account. Primary care physician (PCP). All I knew was that I was proud to have my own health insurance. At this point, I’d only seen my private pediatrician (until I was 23) and my random visits to the campus health center for allergy shots.

I learned early on I hated high deductible plans. They suck, especially if you don’t need very much medical assistance. I also learned your healthcare options become important in deciding where to accept a job and to discuss in the hiring process. Some employers will have a variety of options for their employees, then again, some won’t – and those situations SUCK!

All that being said, I’ve experienced health savings accounts (HSA) a couple of times now. And it is very important you understand how these work and what is and is NOT covered. When I got my first HSA account, I immediately perused the list for what I could buy with my HSA debit card. I noticed NO menstrual products were on there!

Band-aids stop blood. They are on there.

Pregnancy costs are only for women. They are covered.

But menstrual products WERE NOT. And I was pissed. Tampons stop bleeding, kinda. Well, it stops the blood from coming through your clothing and embarrass the hell out of you! And yes, menstrual products are only for one sex. It’s not like we asked to have periods/menstruation cycles. But alas, it’s needed to give birth. So both of those arguments about why they shouldn’t be included are absolute BS to me.

But thanks to an F’n pandemic, we can now purchase tampons with pre-tax funds from your HSA account. I found this little tidbit out from an email from the bank that houses my HSA account: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law March 27, 2020, contains important updates on the use of health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health reimbursement accounts (HRAs).

For the FIRST time [..the MF FIRST TIME…] menstrual care products are considered qualified medical expenses for payment or reimbursement with an HSA, FSA or HRA.

It’s 2020 y’all, and we can finally and rightly so buy our period crap with money that is tax-free! It may not seem like a lot, but if you’ve ever walked down the aisle that houses these products, you’d know how expensive these are. It pisses me off! Let’s say on average one box of tampons at $8 will suffice for one period. You get your period every month, so it costs each woman approximately $100/year for her period, and this is pre-tax. And this is if she uses tampons only. Let’s not even go there with ORGANIC tampons too.

I was about to go into how many years a woman has her period and then multiply that by $100, but it would just irritate me.

All of this ranting to say FINALLY we get tampons covered under HSA if you have one. And it only took a pandemic.

Thanks, COVID-19, I won’t ever forget you bringing me HSA tampons!

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