Health Spending Account

We have the ability to contribute to and use a Flexible Spending Account (Medical) at work.  I’ve used it for the past five years for a variety of items to save on taxes.  Well, due to the new Healthcare Act, that is supposed to save me money on medical care, I can no longer use it on the majority of my medical expenses.  I am thoroughly unhappy about this turn of events.

I’ve only occasionally had to put a large sum of money into the account, mostly related to my extensive dental work.  What I do put into it, not only saves me a little in taxes but makes sure the money is there for me to use all year regardless of my other finances.  In the past the account could be used for a wide variety of over-the-counter items such as allergy and cold medications.  These are basically the items I spend most of my money on, as I have “Michigan Nose” which translates to “chronic allergy and sinus issues”.

When Zyrtec went from a prescription to over-the-counter I was annoyed because it was the one allergy medication that worked well for me without making my sleepy.  Unfortunately, as a prescription I had a $10 co-pay for 30 pills, now it costs $24 for 30 pills and some months I have to take two pills a day.  With the new Act I can no longer use my Flex Spending to purchase Zyrtec or my Sinus Headache medication.

While this isn’t going to break me, I don’t see how this Act is saving me money.  I am now considering trying to find another allergy medication that is prescription based, this will save ME money, but not the medical insurance costs.

5 responses to “Health Spending Account

  • Jeff

    the last I read I could still use mine for those purchases. hmmmm.

  • Mona

    Go to Sam’s club to purchase Zyrtec. Our local store sells 100 name brand tablets for around $36 … the generic is ridiculously cheap. You can look online for prices at the club nearest you. A membership is $40 a year, so it is worth the price just for Zyrtec savings. And, if you stock up at the end of your membership year, you can likely just purchase a membership every other year.

    Call your local Sam’s Club pharmacy and ask them for a price.

    It sucks about the OTC stuff. Between contact solution and allergy medicine, we easily turned in $300 worth of reimbursable receipts every year.

  • emellesadventures

    I was worried about the OTC meds as well not being reimbursed with the FSA, but you can have your doctor write a prescription for the OTC med and submit with receipts as you currently do and they should be covered.

    I also hated when the allergy meds went from prescription to OTC. I just suffer now, unless it is really bad.

    Also, contact solution and other eye care will still be covered.

    Just be sure to check your employers information as it could be different, but I’m pretty sure what I read was part of the actual health reform bill.

  • Money Matters

    Well it seems that you need Zyrtec for your allergies. From what I read, you can have your doctor prescribe it to you and then you will be able to get reimbursed.

  • Jenn

    Thanks everyone. I’ll talk to my allergist next time I see her. I spend hundreds a year on Zyrtec, other pills work but they make me tired.

    I have until the end of November to figure out what I need to spend, luckily I have a dentist appointment next week so I can see how much the veneers are going to cost me.

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