Magazine article International Musician

Making the Most of Your Medical Flexible Spending Account

Magazine article International Musician

Making the Most of Your Medical Flexible Spending Account

Article excerpt

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) are a great way to save on taxes and help reduce the burden of increases in medical costs. Following are some impending changes in the regulations along with some practical tips to help you make the most of your medical FSA.

Beginning January 1, 2011, over-the-counter drugs will only qualify as reimbursable from your FSA if you have a prescription from your doctor. Incidentally, this change also applies to Health Savings Accounts. If you have remaining funds in your FSA, it may make sense to stock up on these items before the December 31, 2010 deadline. In addition, starting next year, you may want to ask your doctor to write a prescription for some of your over-the-counter drugs, particularly if you use some of the more expensive ones like Claritin or Prilosec. Since these drugs are available either over-the-counter or by prescription, you should first check to see if they qualify under your prescription drug program, and how much the co-pays or deductibles are.

Because of this change for over-the-counter drugs, it will no longer be possible to use an FSA debit card to purchase these, even if you have a prescription. It will be necessary to save your receipts along with the prescription and file a claim to receive your FSA reimbursement.

The new Affordable Care Act requires non-grandfathered insurance plans beginning on or after September 23, 2010 to cover certain preventative services without your having to pay a copayment, coinsurance, or meet your deductible. Covered services include many types of cancer screening and immunizations, and a complete list is available at www.healthcare.gov/law/about/provisions/services/lists.html.

Fully-insured health insurance plans maintained pursuant to a CBA ratified before March 23, 2010 are automatically grandfathered until at least the termination date of the agreement. If certain conditions are met, the grandfather status may be extended. …

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