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HSA non-prescription change in 2011
Old 12-27-2010, 08:07 PM   #1
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HSA non-prescription change in 2011

I've seen a few articles like this one recently:
FSA and HRA Alert for 2011: Tougher to Get Reimbursed for OTC Meds - CBS MoneyWatch.com

And I've read the IRS explanation:
Affordable Care Act: Questions and Answers on Over-the-Counter Medicines and Drugs

Every article I've read says pretty clearly WHAT the change is: I can't submit a Tylenol bill from Walgreens for HSA reimbursement after December 31.

I am mildly annoyed. It's a trivial issue with no real consequences...just one more little rule to remember in my financial life.

But I'm also annoyed because I haven't seen any explanation on WHY the rule change is being made. Does anybody know the problem being solved?
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:33 PM   #2
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Tell your Dr. to write you prescriptions for the OTC meds you take, problem solved.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:51 PM   #3
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Agreed, but I don't have a family doctor.

If I did, I wouldn't bother him with a call like "I caught a cold. Can you save me 25% on my $6.50 purchase by calling in a prescription for some cough medicine?".

If I was a doctor, the reply would be: "Sure. That'll be $180 / hour x 3 minutes = $9.00"
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:49 PM   #4
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Why? Because they make it up as they go along...
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgoldenz View Post
Why? Because they make it up as they go along...
Well, yes, but "they" must have made up had a justification.

Some ideas :

  • We once found a double-stupid backwoods meth lab proprietor that purchased all of his cold medicine ingredients through a HSA
  • We've "heard" that over 73 people have purchased a grocery cart full of Milk of Magnesia, turned in a copy of the receipt for reimbursement, then taken the goods back for a refund
  • The congressional number-crunchers convinced themselves that everyone with a reimbursement account would reduce their non-taxable set-aside by $25 in 2011, generating millions in added income tax revenue
  • Doctors are always complaining about Medicare / Medicaid fees and paperwork...let's distract them with something related to the privately insured customers that work at Megacorp
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frayne View Post
Tell your Dr. to write you prescriptions for the OTC meds you take, problem solved.

Unless the Dr. goes "would it look bad on me for giving a prescription for a non-prescription med?"
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:12 PM   #7
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And the winner is...
  • The congressional number-crunchers convinced themselves that everyone with a reimbursement account would reduce their non-taxable set-aside by $25 in 2011, generating millions in added income tax revenue
Supposedly this change will provide $600 million in annual revenue increases.


JCX-17-10
"Estimated Revenue Effects Of The Amendment In The Nature Of A Substitute To H.R. 4872, The "Reconciliation Act Of 2010," As Amended, In Combination With The Revenue Effects Of H.R. 3590, The "Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act ('PPACA')," As Passed By The Senate, And Scheduled For Consideration By The House Committee On Rules On March 20, 2010"
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Old 12-31-2010, 09:14 AM   #8
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Here's more on this change, from an article today. "No Medicine For You."

Apparently the law applies to HSAs and FSAs.

His advice:

Quote:
If you have a Health Savings Account or Flex Spending Account with money in it, your task today, the last day of 2010, is to go to the drug store, whip out that card, and buy as much over-the-counter medication as you think you might need in 2011. If you don't, you'll have to pay for it out of pocket starting tomorrow.
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