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House Committee To Consider Repeal Of OTC Provision

05/30/12

  05:30:39 pm, by MedBen5   , 252 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Health Plan Management

House Committee To Consider Repeal Of OTC Provision

Remember back in 2010, when you could use your flexible spending account funds to buy over-the-counter medicines without a prescription? Good times, they were. Of course, thanks to the health care reform law, that’s all in the past.

But then again…

Not to get your hopes up too high, but there’s been an effort in Congress of late to turn back the clock and allow health FSA participants to purchase their aspirin, cough medicine and other OTCs without having to call their doctor first.

On May 31, the will markup on H.R. 5842, the Restoring Access to Medication Act. The bill would repeal the Afforable Health Care Act provision that disqualifies OTCs for non-prescription purchases.

Assuming the Committee approves H.R. 5842 – pretty much a certainty – it will then move on to the full House of Representatives. Majority Leader Eric Cantor has indicated that this could happen as early as the week of June 4 – and there’s a high likelihood that the bill will pass the House with flying colors.

Of course, that leaves the small matter of approving the bill (or similar legislation) in the Senate. But given the unpopularity of the OTC provision – and the fact that it’s an election year, to boot – don’t be surprised if, come 2013, FSA participants can once again purchase their ibuprofen tax-free.

H.R. 5842 is available for review at the Ways and Means Committee website.

UPDATE: On May 31, The House Ways and Means Committee passed the bill by a vote of 24 for to 9 against.

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