Costco FSA-Eligible Items Listed

Short Answer: FSA-eligible items that can be purchased at Costco include reading glasses, contact lenses, prenatal vitamins, and blood pressure monitors. Additional items like over-the-counter medications may be purchased with a valid doctor’s prescription. For the list of Costco FSA-eligible items, see below.

Does Costco Take FSA?

You can use your flexible spending account (FSA) at Costco to make eligible purchases. We contacted Costco’s corporate customer service department, as well as Costco warehouse locations in Florida, New York, Ohio, and Tennessee; all of the representatives we spoke with said Costco accepts FSA, but not all locations accept FSA cards at the main registers. About 50% of the stores we contacted said FSA cards are only accepted at the pharmacy; FSA cards may also be accepted at Costco vision centers. You can, however, take FSA-eligible items from a different department to a Costco register that accepts FSA cards, such as in the pharmacy or vision center.

FSA-eligible items are available on Costco.com, but Costco customer service representatives said FSA cards often present processing issues when trying to make an online purchase. It’s best to purchase in-stock items in person at your local Costco.

Costco FSA-Eligible Items

There are three departments at Costco that have FSA-eligible items: the pharmacy department, the optical center, and the hearing aid center.┬áSince your employer determines which items are covered, we are unable to provide a list of FSA-eligible items that applies to all account holders. Instead, we’ve listed the items and categories marked FSA-eligible on Costco’s website.

The IRS allows many other items, such as over-the-counter medicine, to be purchased using an FSA card provided you have a valid doctor’s prescription. If you do not have a prescription, you can still purchase these items using a different payment method. The FSA Store lists the following items as FSA-eligible with a doctor’s prescription:

  • Acne treatment
  • Allergy medicine
  • Antacids
  • Anti-fungal treatment
  • Anti-itch treatment
  • Aspirin and baby aspirin
  • Chest rubs
  • Children’s medicine, including:
    • Cold and allergy medicine
    • Fever and pain relievers
    • Stomach and digestive aids
  • Cold and flu medicine
  • Cold sore treatments
  • Corn, callus, and wart remover
  • Cough drops and cough sprays
  • Cough medicine
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Ear drops and ear wax remover
  • External pain relievers
  • Eye drops
  • Feminine care
  • Hemorrhoid treatment
  • Laxatives
  • Lice treatment
  • Nasal spray
  • Oral pain relief
  • Pain relievers
  • Skin treatments (such as eczema cream)
  • Sleep aids
  • Smoking cessation assistance (gum and patches)
  • Stomach and digestive aids

What Is an FSA?

A flexible spending account is a bank account tied to your employer that accumulates pre-tax deposits from your paycheck. Sometimes, employers will contribute additional funds to your FSA as an employee benefit. FSA account holders are issued a debit card, or an FSA card, that can be used to purchase qualifying health care items. Eligible items can vary as individual employers determine what expenses to include. Common FSA-eligible expenses are dental care, optical care, and hearing aids.

Keep in mind, any funds remaining in your FSA at the end of the year will not roll over into the next year; unused funds are forfeited, making an FSA a use-it-or-lose-it account. To avoid lost funds, you might want to stock up on nonperishable items like contact lens solution or, depending on your account balance, purchase a big-ticket item like a wheelchair.

More Information

Can you return FSA items for cash? Find the answer in our article.

For information on the types of insurance Costco’s pharmacy accepts, see our related article. We also have information on Costco’s optical return policy.

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