If you use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to pay for over-the-counter medicines, you need to know about the new rules under the new health care law.
Starting January 1, 2011, over-the-counter drugs only qualify for reimbursement if you have a doctor’s prescription. Over-the-counter drugs include things like acne treatments, allergy and cold medicines, antacids, aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. Insulin is the only exception.
Over-the-counter items that are not drugs, such as bandages, contact lens solutions, crutches, blood-sugar test kits, and nasal strips, are still eligible and will not require a prescription.
Before you allocate money to your 2011 Flexible Spending Account you may want to consider the following and reassess how much you are putting aside.
• The hassle of getting a prescription may not be worth it unless you are taking an expensive other-the-counter medication on a daily basis. If you or your child need a prescription, you should contact your physician. If your physician is unfamiliar with you or your child taking an over-the-counter medicine, your physician will ask that you come in for an appointment.
• Under the new change, IRS guidelines say that FSA debit cards can no longer be used to pay for over-the-counter drugs. You will have to get reimbursed by turning in a copy of the receipt and prescription to your FSA provider.
• Starting next year the new health care law gets rid of preventive service copays for things like well-child visits and immunizations unless your health insurance plan qualifies as a grandfathered plan. Please contact your benefits administrator or insurance company to determine if your plan will fully cover well-child visits and immunizations.