Off Topic: Period Care is Covered by FSA

A silver lining of this lousy year is that now, period care is covered by FSA I’ve shared before that FSA funds can be used to buy sunscreen. That is great, and I highly recommend doing so if at the end of the year you find yourself with an excess of FSA funds (and don’t need healthcare, spare glasses, etc). But this isn’t about sun safety.

Period Care is Covered by FSA (FINALLY)

This is about how finally, in 2020, prompted by the CoVid-19, Congress decided that, “oh hey, maybe menstrual care products are healthcare products and should be eligible for purchase with FSA funds,” via the CARES act.

Not Amused

Can we talk for a moment about how we could have purchased any number of ridiculous, frivolous, bullshit products with an FSA? We could buy a $25 lip gloss because it had some SPF in it, but we couldn’t buy some damn tampons with those same funds. This is on top of the absurdity that hygiene products like these are frequently taxed at a different rate (a quite literal pink tax, rather than the markup variety) than other hygiene and personal care necessities because some morons seem to think that’s a great idea.

Maybe some of them aren’t complete bullshit, like light therapy for acne. But why could we spend $200 in pre-tax dollars on some splurgey skincare gadget with questionable efficacy before we could spend those dollars on basic, routine hygiene that so damn important to our ongoing health. No one wants blemishes, but I dare-fucking-say that one is slightly higher priority in terms of, “shit we need,” than the other.

The Bottom Line

I’m happy that period care is covered by FSA funds now, but I’m simultaneously irritated as hell that it took so long, and took a global health crisis that not only threatened lives and safety but incomes and livelihoods, for tampons to be considered slightly less of a luxury.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.