Keep the Money. Lose the Headaches.

Metro ad campaign educates D.C. commuters on flexible spending accounts

Washington, D.C. (September 21, 2004)—With open enrollment season approaching for the majority of workers with access to moneysaving flexible spending accounts (FSAs) including federal government employees, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) launched an ad campaign to help consumers get the maximum benefit from their accounts. The campaign will run for three months on Metro trains in the Washington, D.C., area, and reminds commuters that over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are eligible expenses in FSAs.

FSAs are voluntary programs many employers use to allow their employees to set aside tax-free dollars every year to pay for certain medical expenses—including OTCs—not covered by insurance.

“Millions of consumers use OTCs every day,” said CHPA President Linda A. Suydam, D.P.A. “OTC eligibility in FSAs means that now consumers can save even more money when they purchase the nonprescription medicines they rely on to treat cold and flu symptoms, allergies, headaches, indigestion, and muscle and joint aches.”

CHPA specifically offers employees the following three steps to help them make the most of their FSAs:

  1. Check with your employer to verify which expenses are eligible. Your individual company plan might not include all expenses considered eligible by the Internal Revenue Service.
  2. Budget wisely during open enrollment season and consider what FSA-eligible expenses, including OTCs, you will need during the upcoming account year. Remember, using FSAs for OTCs can reduce costs up to 38 percent.
  3. Pay careful attention to how much money is in your FSA. Money not used in an FSA by the end of the account year is lost.

For more information about OTC eligibility in FSAs or for information about other tax-saving legislation for OTCs, visit CHPA’s web site at www.chpa-info.org.

Contacts: Elizabeth Assey and Mimi Pappas, 202.429.9260


CHPA is the 123-year-old trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplement products.