Amounts paid for certain PPE treated as qualified medical expenses
Personal protective equipment such as masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes purchased for preventing the spread of COVID-19 is now treated as a qualified medical expense (IRS Notice 2021-7).
On March 26, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service released IRS Announcement 2021-7, which states that personal protective equipment such as masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes purchased “for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19” are qualified medical expenses under Section 213(d) of the Code.
Health savings account participants may use the funds in their HSA to pay for masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes on a pre-tax basis. Medical FSA participants may also use their funds to pay for these expenses, but should be prepared to submit itemized receipts to substantiate the expense, per IRS rules. These are not reimbursable expenses for the limited purpose FSA, however.