Summer is here! The sun is out, the weather is hot, and people are getting outdoors. You’re looking to have fun at the beach, hanging out by the pool, going camping, or sending kids off to summer camps. But you need to be prepared for summer time snags that can put a damper on things. But don’t sweat it!
With an employer-sponsored healthcare benefit account, like a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA), you can stock up on products that can help you stay healthy and active so you can avoid the summertime blues.
Are you going camping? Do your kids play a lot of sports? Do you like to go on road trips? Chances are you said yes to at least one of these.
You can buy first aid kits and many over-the-counter first aid supplies with your FSA or HSA. Over-the-counter supplies include un-medicated bandages and gauze, cold compresses, and thermometers. The American Red Cross recommends keeping a first aid kit in your vehicle in case of emergencies. Here are some tips for building your own first aid kit.
Sunshine and sandy beaches (or a day on the lake) – those are quintessential summertime images. If you wear prescription glasses, you can order a pair of prescription sunglasses with your benefit dollars. Ultraviolet (UV) rays have been linked to vision loss, cataracts, and corneal sunburns, among other health problems. Buy a pair of sunglasses with a UV coating to help protect your eyes from harmful rays.
Speaking of harmful UV rays … It’s important to protect your skin! Stock up on sunscreen with your healthcare benefit account. Fact is, anyone can get skin cancer, no matter your race, gender or age. It’s estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime.
When you go to purchase sunscreen, be sure to look for:
Be sure to check the expiration date on the bottles you have at home. All sunscreens should retain their original strength for three years (as required by the FDA). Click here for sunscreen FAQs.
Okay, so you spent a little too much time in the sun and now people are making lobster jokes. But it’s not THAT funny – your skin (and your ego) needs soothing! Many aloe vera gels and other sunburn relief creams may be purchased using your FSA or HSA, with a prescription.
Just like protecting your skin, you also need to protect your lips. It’s easy to overlook the need for lip protection – many people only think about it when their lips are chapped. One study showed that just over a third of people who used sunscreen at the beach also used a lip balm with SPF protection.
The good thing is that lip balms with an SPF of 15 or higher are an eligible expense. Be sure to apply frequently to ensure you’re getting enough protection.
When the weather is warm, people are outside engaged in all sorts of summertime activities. Baseball, basketball, soccer, jogging, just to name a few. With a higher amount of activity comes a greater chance of injury. Whether you have a sprain, a twisted ankle, or a break, you can get some relief and back on your feet.
Among the eligible expense items include canes, crutches, wheelchairs, orthopedic braces, and foot support inserts. They’ll help you heal so you get back to enjoying the beautiful weather.
Put your benefit dollars to good use and get those items that will prepare you for whatever comes your way during these warmer months. Remember you can use your benefits debit card online and in store at pharmacies and other approved retailers to make these purchases; if you’re traveling, don’t leave home without it!