Content about Taxation in the United States

July 14, 2011

Four legislators on Thursday introduced legislation that would restore over-the-counter medicines as qualified reimbursements under health spending accounts and flexible spending accounts without a prescription.

WASHINGTON — Four legislators on Thursday introduced legislation that would restore over-the-counter medicines as qualified reimbursements under health spending accounts and flexible spending accounts without a prescription. A provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act enacted in January had created a prescription requirement in order for OTC medicines to qualify for pre-tax reimbursements. 

May 12, 2011

The Health Choices Coalition sent a letter to members of Congress, urging them to repeal legislation that limits coverage of over-the-counter medicines.

WASHINGTON — The Health Choices Coalition sent a letter to members of Congress, urging them to repeal legislation that limits coverage of over-the-counter medicines.

The coalition is looking to Congress to repeal a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that prevents consumers from using their flexible spending accounts to purchase OTCs without first getting a doctor's prescription. Members of the Health Choices Coalition are urging Congress to take action in order to allow consumers to use their FSAs for OTCs.

March 25, 2011

There are three issues involving over-the-counter medicines today that have put the industry on the defensive, and all involve the question of appropriate access. Drug Store News examined each.

1. FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNTS
The issue: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act required that FSA participants obtain a prescription for those OTCs incorporated into their health savings agenda.

March 24, 2011

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association may not be painting pink Pepto-Bismol mustaches on a group of Hollywood celebrities and professional athletes as part of the new campaign it plans to fully unveil in June, but the goal is more or less the same as the “Got Milk?” ads.

“Got milk?” has become ubiquitous. There is 100% clarity of message. The milk mustache says it all: Milk is an essential food and an integral part of a healthy diet; it HAS TO BE in your refrigerator, on your breakfast table and in your lunch box.

March 14, 2011

Reps. Charles Boustany, R-La., and John Larson, D-Conn., on Friday introduced bipartisan legislation that would eliminate the “use-it-or-lose-it” provision associated with flexible spending accounts.

WASHINGTON — Reps. Charles Boustany, R-La., and John Larson, D-Conn., on Friday introduced bipartisan legislation that would eliminate the “use-it-or-lose-it” provision associated with flexible spending accounts.

February 25, 2011

Give a man a doctor’s co-pay, and he is healthy for a day. Give him a health savings account, and that man becomes so much more vested in ensuring positive health outcomes that he may be healthy for a lifetime. Because in the long run, it’s cheaper.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Give a man a doctor’s co-pay, and he is healthy for a day. Give him a health savings account, and that man becomes so much more vested in ensuring positive health outcomes that he may be healthy for a lifetime. Because in the long run, it’s cheaper.

(THE NEWS: HSAs saw dramatic growth in 2010, study finds. For the full story, click here)

February 24, 2011

Health savings accounts surpassed $10 billion at year-end 2010, according to a survey and the resulting research report conducted by Devenir, an investment firm that specializes in providing investment options for HSAs.

MINNEAPOLIS — Health savings accounts surpassed $10 billion at year-end 2010, according to a survey and the resulting research report conducted by Devenir, an investment firm that specializes in providing investment options for HSAs.

February 18, 2011

“Smah-ten up, Ee-dah.” Loosely translated from deep “Mainer-ese,” that means, “smarten up, Eder.”


It’s a voice from my childhood, an old coach and counselor from summer camp, Tobias Woodworth. I called him Toby. He called me “Ee-dah.”


Stuck with me and all my other quasi-incorrigible New York City friends, Toby found himself saying, “smah-ten up!” an awful lot. It could mean anything from “you’ve got two strikes — protect the plate” to “put down that rock.”


February 11, 2011

It never made much sense to make health care less affordable under the Affordable Care Act — neither did the requirement of a prescription for a nonprescription remedy jive with proponents of flexible spending accounts. So it’s little wonder that the FSA rule changes were the first piece of ObamaCare to face a congressional axe, as was widely speculated just last week.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — It never made much sense to make health care less affordable under the Affordable Care Act — neither did the requirement of a prescription for a nonprescription remedy jive with proponents of flexible spending accounts. So it’s little wonder that the FSA rule changes were the first piece of ObamaCare to face a congressional axe, as was widely speculated just last week.

February 11, 2011

Recent restrictions imposed on flexible spending accounts appear to be the first piece of ObamaCare to be challenged by the new Congress.

WASHINGTON — Recent restrictions imposed on flexible spending accounts appear to be the first piece of ObamaCare to be challenged by the new Congress.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., on Thursday respectively introduced The Patients’ Freedom to Choose Act, a bill that would repeal two provisions in the Obama healthcare law that limit a patient’s choice in how to use consumer-directed health savings plans, to the Senate and House of Representatives.

February 10, 2011

Companion legislation, which seeks to change a provision in the healthcare-reform law and permit Americans to use their flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts to buy over-the-counter medications without a prescription, has the support of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Companion legislation, which seeks to change a provision in the healthcare-reform law and permit Americans to use their flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts to buy over-the-counter medications without a prescription, has the support of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

February 4, 2011

As much as the Affordable Care Act was a tough pill to swallow for many conservatives, the flexible spending account changes may be the first piece of what many consider to be "bad medicine" to be reversed this year. Incentivizing self-care is better medicine for all constituents.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — As much as the Affordable Care Act was a tough pill to swallow for many conservatives, the flexible spending account changes may be the first piece of what many consider to be "bad medicine" to be reversed this year. Incentivizing self-care is better medicine for all constituents.

(THE NEWS: Report: Legislation restoring FSA OTC coverage is coming. For the full story, click here)

February 2, 2011

Legislation repealing a requirement that nonprescription medicines would need an accompanying doctor’s prescription in order to qualify for reimbursement from employee-paid flexible spending accounts could be introduced to both Houses as soon as next week, according to a report published Tuesday in the political daily Politico.

WASHINGTON — Legislation repealing a requirement that nonprescription medicines would need an accompanying doctor’s prescription in order to qualify for reimbursement from employee-paid flexible spending accounts could be introduced to both Houses as soon as next week, according to a report published Tuesday in the political daily Politico.

December 27, 2010

The IRS issued new guidance Dec. 23 that enables consumers to continue to use flexible spending and health reimbursement account debit cards to purchase prescribed OTC products.

WASHINGTON — Though most might associate the Internal Revenue Service with the Grinch, the IRS came through with a last-minute Christmas present for retailers stung by changes in the tax code related to consumers’ use of flexible spending and health reimbursement accounts to purchase approved OTC products.

December 10, 2010

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Friday released a ready-made pamphlet and sign for its retail members to use in communicating upcoming flexible spending account changes as they relate to over-the-counter medicines.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Friday released a ready-made pamphlet and sign for its retail members to use in communicating upcoming flexible spending account changes as they relate to over-the-counter medicines.

November 18, 2010

No matter how you slice it, the flexible spending account changes that are part of...

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — No matter how you slice it, the flexible spending account changes that are part of the overall Affordable Care Act aren’t doing a whole lot by way of saving healthcare dollars, at least not for patients. Indeed, about the only benefactors are those folks who have to make dollars and cents out of what might become the first casualty of the Obamacare healthcare package — those who have to explain how the administration plans to pay for this package, you know, by not raising taxes.

November 17, 2010

A coalition of six associations, including the Consumer Healthcare Products Association and the National Association...

WASHINGTON — A coalition of six associations, including the Consumer Healthcare Products Association and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, on Thursday called on Congress to repeal the requirement that prevents consumers from using their flexible spending accounts to purchase over-the-counter medicines without a prescription as of Jan. 1.

 

November 14, 2010

A panel of healthcare thought leaders has concluded that a recent IRS rule change going...

WASHINGTON — A panel of healthcare thought leaders has concluded that a recent IRS rule change going into effect Jan. 14, 2011, will demand retail system challenges that are operationally impossible to overcome in the limited time frame required.

And the National Association of Chain Drug Stores couldn’t agree more.

November 10, 2010

Save Flexible Spending Plans — a national grassroots advocacy organization sponsored by the Employers Council...

WASHINGTON Save Flexible Spending Plans — a national grassroots advocacy organization sponsored by the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation — on Thursday called on the new leaders in Congress to follow through on their campaign promises and fix problems with the healthcare-reform law, including the removal of to-be-imposed restrictions on employer-provided flexible spending accounts.

 

October 27, 2010

A New York Times report published Tuesday illustrated exactly how far apart the rubber is...

October 12, 2010

A panel of healthcare thought leaders has concluded that a recent IRS rule change requiring...

September 21, 2010

The Special Interest Group for IIAS Standards announced Wednesday that the group is making significant...

SAN RAMON, Calif. The Special Interest Group for IIAS Standards announced Wednesday that the group is making significant changes to its Eligible Products List — a list of over-the-counter products eligible for reimbursement under flexible spending accounts — in response to IRS guidance issued earlier this month.

September 14, 2010

Against a backdrop of continued economic uncertainty, employer healthcare costs for active employees are projected...

NEW YORK Against a backdrop of continued economic uncertainty, employer healthcare costs for active employees are projected to rise 8.2% after plan changes to an average annual cost of $10,730 in 2011, according to a recent survey of 466 large and midsize employers conducted by Towers Watson.

September 13, 2010

The Internal Revenue Service earlier this month issued guidance reflecting statutory changes regarding the use...

WASHINGTON The Internal Revenue Service earlier this month issued guidance reflecting statutory changes regarding the use of certain tax-favored arrangements, such as flexible spending arrangements, to pay for over-the-counter medicines and drugs.

November 22, 2009

The simple fact is that healthcare reform in this country has to be paid for...

NEW YORK The simple fact is that healthcare reform in this country has to be paid for somehow. But cutting OTCs out of FSAs amounts to an additional healthcare tax levied against Americans actually trying to save money on health care today. That’s just backward thinking.