Over The Counter Rule Change

Rules have changed when it comes to insurance flex account coverage on Over The Counter medications.

The new health care reform law requires a doctor’s prescription for any OTC medicines that someone might want their flex spending account to pay for. Insulin is exempt and anything else you might normally have an Rx for isn’t affected, just those on the shelf items such as cold medicine and aspirin. The IRS says this applies only to “medicine” or “drugs,” and not those supplies such as band-aids, crutches, contact lens solution, or blood glucose test strips and kits.

For me and many People With Diabetes, this specifically comes down to glucose tablets that are sold in the pharmacy aisles or endcaps. Since these are basically something you eat and can be dubbed a consumable “medicine” or “drug,” the new Flex rule applies.

You can read more over at The Diabetic’s Corner Booth about what this all means, what I think, and what we did recently to prep for this change.

And don’t forget, on your first visit to your doctor, bring a list of all your OTC medications and request an Rx good for the year as needed. In my case, I spend out my spending account well before I even get to the tylenol, but others may need to worry. In either case, also remember that even worse times are on the way as in 2013 the limit for flexible spending accounts drops to only $2500.

There so needs to be a diabetic/chronic sort of exemption. I put $4,000 in my FSA last year and I exhausted it by November at the latest. We got health insurance reform, nothing more. And even that is toothless and insufficient. I was very disappointed in the “health care” reform. Health insurance for profit is a ridiculous idea. How did it catch on? It’s absolutely insane. I figure that I support this economy plenty with my care and feeding. I’m trying to keep myself as healthy as possible (a) because I hate to be uncomfortable and (b) I don’t want to be expensive when I’m on Medicare… As a tax payer myself, I’m doing my best to take it easy on my fellow Medicare tax payers. I think it’s my patriotic duty – and I’m only 3/4 kidding.