Can you use a HSA for tampons?

Discover the latest information on using a Health Savings Account (HSA) for purchasing tampons in 2024.

In recent years, there has been much debate and discussion surrounding the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for various healthcare expenses. One question that often arises is whether HSAs can be used for purchasing tampons. In this article, we will explore the different aspects of using an HSA for tampons and provide updated information for the year 2024.

Can you use HSA for tampons?

Tampons are a necessity for many women, and the cost of these products can quickly add up over time. It is only natural for women to wonder if their HSA funds can be used to alleviate the financial burden of purchasing tampons. The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no.

The IRS has established certain criteria for determining which medical expenses are eligible for HSA funds. According to current guidelines, eligible expenses must be for the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of a medical condition. However, menstrual care products like tampons and pads have traditionally not been considered eligible expenses.

This exclusion has been widely criticized by women's health advocates, who argue that menstrual care products should be classified as medical expenses. They argue that access to affordable tampons is essential for the health and well-being of women.

One of the main arguments put forth by women's health advocates is that menstruation is a natural bodily function and should be treated as such. They argue that just like bandages and other medical supplies, tampons and pads are necessary for managing a normal bodily process. Therefore, they believe that these products should be eligible for HSA funds.

Furthermore, the financial burden of purchasing tampons and pads can be significant for many women. It is estimated that the average woman will spend around $150 per year on menstrual products. For low-income women, this expense can be particularly burdensome. By allowing HSA funds to be used for tampons, women would have access to a more affordable option for managing their menstrual needs.

Another argument in favor of including tampons as eligible expenses is the potential health benefits. Poor menstrual hygiene can lead to various health issues, including infections and discomfort. By providing women with the means to purchase high-quality tampons, it is argued that their overall health and well-being would be improved.

Despite these arguments, the IRS has not yet changed its stance on the eligibility of tampons as HSA expenses. However, there have been efforts to challenge this exclusion. Some states have taken matters into their own hands and passed legislation to exempt menstrual products from sales tax, recognizing the importance of affordable access to these items.

In conclusion, while the IRS currently does not consider tampons as eligible expenses for HSA funds, there is a growing movement advocating for a change in this policy. Women's health advocates argue that menstrual care products should be classified as medical expenses, emphasizing the importance of affordable access to tampons for the health and well-being of women.

Can you use a health savings account (HSA) for tampons?

While the IRS has not explicitly listed tampons as eligible expenses, there have been efforts to change this. In recent years, several states have taken steps to remove the sales tax on menstrual products, acknowledging their importance to women's health. This shift in perspective may eventually lead to changes in HSA regulations regarding tampon eligibility.

It is important to note that HSA rules can vary depending on your specific plan and provider. Some HSAs may allow for the reimbursement of tampon expenses, while others may not. It is advisable to check with your HSA administrator to determine whether tampons can be considered an eligible expense under your plan.

What are the benefits of using an HSA for tampons?

For individuals whose HSAs do cover tampon expenses, there are several benefits to using HSA funds for this purpose. Firstly, using pre-tax dollars to purchase tampons can result in significant savings over time. This can be particularly helpful for individuals who face high costs for menstrual care products on a regular basis.

Furthermore, using an HSA for tampons allows individuals to prioritize their health and well-being without straining their budget. By using funds specifically designated for medical expenses, women can easily manage their menstrual care needs without sacrificing other essential expenses.

What are the downsides of using an HSA for tampons?

Despite the potential benefits, there are some downsides to consider when using an HSA for tampons. Firstly, not all HSAs cover tampon expenses, as previously mentioned. This lack of uniformity can make it difficult for some women to access this benefit, depending on their specific HSA plan.

Additionally, some individuals may find it challenging to track and allocate HSA funds specifically for tampon purchases. This can be especially true for individuals who have multiple medical expenses and need to carefully manage their HSA balance.

Furthermore, the ongoing debate surrounding the classification of tampons as eligible medical expenses may introduce uncertainty and potential changes in the future. It is important to stay informed about any updates or amendments to HSA regulations in order to make informed decisions regarding tampon purchases.

HSA vs FSA for tampons

It is worth mentioning that Health Savings Accounts are not the only option for purchasing tampons with pre-tax dollars. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) offer a similar benefit, allowing individuals to set aside pre-tax income to cover eligible medical expenses. FSAs may have different rules regarding the eligibility of tampons, so it is advisable to check with your FSA administrator to understand the specifics of your plan.

When comparing HSAs and FSAs for tampon purchases, it is important to consider the individual differences between these two types of accounts. HSAs are typically linked to high-deductible health plans and offer the advantage of rolling over unused funds from year to year. On the other hand, FSAs have a "use it or lose it" policy, requiring individuals to spend their allocated FSA funds within the plan year.

Where can you find more information about HSA eligibility for tampons?

If you have questions or would like more information about HSA eligibility for tampons, it is advisable to reach out to your HSA administrator. They will be able to provide specific details about your HSA plan and any updates or changes that may have occurred.

Additionally, staying informed about legislative changes and advocacy efforts related to tampon eligibility can be helpful. Women's health organizations and nonprofits often provide resources and updates on this topic. By engaging with these sources, individuals can stay knowledgeable about the current state of HSA eligibility for tampons.


In conclusion, the question of whether you can use an HSA for tampons is not a straightforward one. While tampons are not currently considered eligible expenses under IRS regulations, there is a growing push to change this classification. The benefits of using an HSA for tampons include potential cost savings and the ability to prioritize women's health. However, there are also downsides and considerations, such as the lack of uniformity in HSA coverage and potential future changes in regulations. It is important to stay informed about your specific HSA plan and any updates regarding tampon eligibility.+

What do you do if you're unsure?

If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult your HSA provider or a tax professional to confirm expense eligibility. 

What are HSA benefits for employers?

If you’re an employer, there are multiple benefits to offering HSA to your employees, including:

  • Attracting and retaining talent
  • It’s a cost-effective healthcare option
  • Enhances employee satisfaction and productivity
  • Increases the utilization of employee benefits
  • Has tax advantages for both you and your employees

Want to learn more? Check out our blog on what is an HSA

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