consumer Employer SBEC/FBD EE Access


Featuring The Benny™ Prepaid Benefits Card


Address:

PO Box 800518
Houston, TX
77280-0518

Phone: (713) 460-FLEX (3539)
Toll-Free: (888) 732-8125
Fax: (713) 460-3550
Email:
claims@fbaflex.com

Affordable Care Act: Questions and Answers on Over-the-Counter Medicines and Drugs

Q1: How are the rules changing for reimbursing the cost of over-the-counter medicines and drugs from health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs)?
A: Section 9003 of the Affordable Care Act established a new uniform standard for medical expenses. Effective Jan. 1, 2011, distributions from health FSAs will be allowed to reimburse the cost of over-the-counter medicines or drugs only if they are purchased with a prescription. This new rule does not apply to reimbursements for the cost of insulin, which will continue to be permitted, even if purchased without a prescription.

Q2: When will the changes become effective?
A: The changes are effective for purchases of over-the-counter medicines and drugs without a prescription after Dec. 31, 2010. The changes do not affect purchases of over-the-counter medicines and drugs in 2010, even if they are reimbursed after Dec. 31, 2010.

Q3: How do I prove that I have purchased an over-the-counter medicine or drug with a prescription so that I can get reimbursed from my employer's health FSA?
A: If your employer’s health FSA reimburses these expenses, you would provide the completed Letter of Medical Necessity (once per Plan Year), showing that a prescription for the item has been issued and the customer receipt (or similar third-party documentation showing the date of the service and the amount of the charge).

Q4: How does this change affect over-the-counter medical devices and supplies?
A: The new rule does not apply to items for medical care that are not medicines or drugs. Thus, equipment such as crutches, supplies such as bandages, and diagnostic devices such as blood sugar test kits will still qualify for reimbursement by a health FSA if purchased after Dec. 31, 2010.

Q5: Will I need a prescription to use my health FSA funds for insulin purchases after Dec. 31, 2010?
A: No. You can continue to use your health FSA funds to purchase insulin without a prescription after Dec. 31, 2010.

Q6: I use health FSA funds for my co-pays and deductibles. Will I still be able to reimburse those expenses with health FSA funds after Dec. 31, 2010?
A: Yes. Co-pays and deductibles continue to be reimbursable from a health FSA after Dec. 31, 2010.

Q7: My company gives me two extra months beyond the end of the year to submit claims for health FSA expenses incurred during the year. What happens if I purchase over-the-counter medicines or drugs without a prescription in 2010 but do not submit the claim for those expenses until January 2011? Will they qualify for reimbursement?
A: Yes. The new restriction on plan reimbursements for the cost of over-the-counter medicines or drugs without a prescription applies only to purchases that are made after 2010.

Q8: My company’s health FSA includes a provision for a grace period, so that if I don’t spend all of the money in my health FSA by Dec. 31 in a given year, I can still use the amount left in my health FSA at the end of the year to reimburse expenses I incur during the first 2 ½ months of the following year.  If I buy over-the-counter medicines or drugs without a prescription during the 2 ½ month grace period of 2011, can I still use the amount left in my health FSA at the end of 2010 to reimburse those expenses?
A: No. The change applies to purchases made on or after Jan. 1, 2011.  Thus, even if your employer’s plan includes the 2 ½ month grace period provision, the cost of over-the-counter medicines and drugs purchased without a prescription during the first 2 ½ months of 2011 will not be eligible to be reimbursed by a health FSA.

Q9: If my plan issues a debit or credit card that I use to pay for over-the-counter medicines or drugs, will I still be able to use the card to purchase over the counter medicines or drugs after Dec. 31, 2010?
A: Generally, no.  The plan must ensure that the card is reprogrammed no later than Jan. 15, 2011, so that the card can no longer be used to purchase over-the-counter medicines or drugs. For further information, see IRS Notice 2010-59.  If your employer’s plan reimburses expenses for over-the-counter medicines and drugs, you can seek reimbursement for these expenses by presenting the information described above in the answer to the question “How do I prove that I have purchased an over-the-counter medicine or drug with a prescription so that I can get reimbursed from my employer's health FSA?


Copyright 2018 Flex Benefit Administrators