« It must have been a banner travel year for algore | Main | Didn't They Used To Have Bowl Games On New Year's Day? »

The F In FSA Doesn't Stand For 'Flexible' Anymore

If you liked the little credit card you got with your health care flexible spending account (FSA), it just got a little less useful two hours ago.  From KSAT 12:

Over-the-counter medications will no longer be reimbursable through a health care flexible spending account, or FSA, even if the account has a grace period. So, Dec. 31 is the last day to stock up on pain relievers, allergy tablets, antacids and more for people who want to use them to exhaust their use-it-or-lose-it FSA.

Over-the-counter medications will still qualify for FSA reimbursement in 2011 if the consumer has a doctor's prescription.

Thirteen billion pages of drivel no one bothered to read apparently has consequences.

Obamacare - screwing ordinary Americans since 2010...

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/40836.

Comments (29)

My 24 year old daughter wil... (Below threshold)
Woop:

My 24 year old daughter will be on my health and dental plan for the next 2 years at a cost to me of $30 a month now thanks to ObamaCare.

And you whine because you can't deduct aspirin from your taxes?

Are you serious?

When did you start taking Sarah Palin pills?

Woop, if your 24-year-old d... (Below threshold)

Woop, if your 24-year-old daughter is STILL depending on you for such fundamental things as that, then you really did a shitty job as a parent in preparing her to take care of herself. Which doesn't surprise me.

And you're a reel shitheel. She's on your plan, at that low cost, directly BECAUSE Kevin -- and the rest of us -- are paying for it.

Finally, the policy Kevin cited has NO benefit to anyone whatsoever. It's only purpose is to make people less independent, less able to make their own choices.

God hell, you're such an oxygen thief.

J.

Woop,do you think ... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

Woop,

do you think the $24 a month begins to cover your daughters actual medical expenses ? Of course not so guess who is making up the difference ? Actually it will be you and I ... my premiums went up $210 a month and I'll bet yours went up as well ...

clueless fool, thinking you can get a free lunch ...

Don't forget, we had to pas... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Don't forget, we had to pass Obamacare in order to see what was in it.

Anyone got a current tally of those getting waivers for the next two years? Besides all the unions that supported passage - until they had to actually live with it.

Jay Tea,Have you f... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Jay Tea,

Have you forgotten how a FSA works? You get to buy drugs with money on which you did not have to pay taxes. You get that tax break because "Kevin -- and the rest of us -- are paying for it." That puts you in the same situation as Woop to whom you applied the endearing label "shitheel".

Whoop must have one of thos... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

Whoop must have one of those government or union cadillac health plans if he can insure his 24 year old daughter for $30 a month.

I bet he forgot he gets to pay taxes on the value of his health plan, which, thanks to Barry SoetoroCare, will put many folks into a higher tax bracket, thus costing even more taxes retroactive to the first dime earned.

Keep on Bragging Whoop, you are getting screwed like everyone else, but like most libtards don't want to know it. You will on April 15th.

Typical Rancid shit for bra... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Typical Rancid shit for brains Democrat lies : "Have you forgotten how a FSA works? You get to buy drugs with money on which you did not have to pay taxes. You get that tax break because "Kevin -- and the rest of us -- are paying for it." "

NOBODY was paying for FSAs except the person using it, with the money they themselves earn.
Only socialist Dems think that all money is gov't property and tax cuts have to be 'paid' for.

We were offered a chance to... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

We were offered a chance to go with the FSA spending at work. Some guys took it, I didn't - personal choice there - but with all the 'you can do this, but not that' nitpicking, I'm just as glad to avoid it. Whatever I'd save would likely not be enough for anything serious, which would be covered by insurance in the first place.

What really got me was the 'use it or lose it' feature as they explained it. What was the point of zeroing it out each year, TAKING OUR MONEY and forcing us to start from scratch?

I'll pass, thank you kindly.

Oh Les, when you point out ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Oh Les, when you point out the 900 pound gorilla in Rance and Wes's basement bedrooms, they just change the subject.

Democrats, progressives, co... (Below threshold)
bostinks2:

Democrats, progressives, communist, moderates, Hollywood, EPA, HSA, 111th congress, your highness obama all characters from Rod Serling "THE TWILIGHT ZONE" totally surreal.

The real story here is not ... (Below threshold)
Caesar Augustus:

The real story here is not so much the expiration of FSA coverage for OTC meds, but the pernicious ripple effect that'll have on so many people, especially those in the lower middle classes.

To be reimbursed for OTC meds thru an FSA you now need a prescription. Which means you need to go to a doctor. OK, well, because of Obamacare being enacted deductibles have been raised throughout the insurance and benefits world. Meaning that more people will have to pay out of pocket to see their doctors, to obtain the very same meds for which they used to receive reimbursements without having to see a doctor. The negative effect of which is highlighted, of course, since premium costs also have risen dramatically since Obamacare passed. Meaning that more people will have a lot less money to spend on other necessities, e.g., food, clothing, rent, other insurance, etc.

This reveals that the Healt... (Below threshold)

This reveals that the Health bill isn't about health, its about taxes. By capping the FSAs and disallowing OTC costs, the Feds insure that more money will not be tax exempt.

If they were really concerned about our health, there would be no expiration on the FSAs, I could save up from year to years for a big operation or upcoming birth and be able to help offset some of the costs, instead of relying on insurance.

When I was 24, I had been g... (Below threshold)
Teach:

When I was 24, I had been graduated from college for 2 years, gainfully employed with my own insurance plan & off my parents' insurance for 3 years. I guess that was back when parents actually expected their children to grow up & contribute to society instead of sucking the system dry.

So the same people who comp... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

So the same people who complain that it cost 12 USD for a Tablet in the hospital will now force people to goto a doctor in order to get OTC medication.

Make sense if you can not trust Parents to feed kids. We cannot trust American to spend their own money from on OTC without going to a doctor.

This fits the same pattern as everything else. Control 100%.

So the same people who c... (Below threshold)
john:

So the same people who complain that it cost 12 USD for a Tablet in the hospital will now force people to goto a doctor in order to get OTC medication.

No one is forcing you to get a prescription for OTC medication, and you know it. This rule change simply means that OTC meds are no longer tax deductible. So the same people who complain about tax-subsidized healthcare are now complaining that some of it is no longer subsidized?

I'll pass, thank you kin... (Below threshold)
john:

I'll pass, thank you kindly.

This just shows that you've chosen to opt out of an available tax deduction. How many other tax deductions have your willfully chosen to forego? This is of course your right, and you may in fact have few healthcare expenses (copays, prescriptions, contacts/glasses). Plus, you may now argue that you're putting your money where your mouth is with regard to subsidized healthcare. But FSA plans are a huge benefit to the average worker (for myself, in 2011 it will put about $1000 in my pocket). You don't have to use it, but if it's too complicated for you to understand, then don't claim that you know what you're talking about.

NOBODY was paying for FS... (Below threshold)
john:

NOBODY was paying for FSAs except the person using it, with the money they themselves earn.

Without an FSA, you'd pay 100% of your healthcare costs. With an FSA, your costs are tax-exempt, so you wind up saving your tax rate in healthcare costs, let's say 28% for example. So who do you think is paying for that 28% you're saving? NOBODY?

Only socialist Dems think that all money is gov't property and tax cuts have to be 'paid' for.

Of course tax cuts have to be paid for. Krugman even wrote a recent piece about people who think otherwise:

But 2010 marked the emergence of a new, even more profound level of magical thinking: the belief that deficits created by tax cuts just don’t matter. For example, Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona — who had denounced President Obama for running deficits — declared that “you should never have to offset the cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans.” It’s an easy position to ridicule. After all, if you never have to offset the cost of tax cuts, why not just eliminate taxes altogether?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/31/opinion/31krugman.html

John,FSA means you... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

John,

FSA means you take your preTax dollars and place it into an account to spend on health related items which are not covered by insurance. So if I am married filing jointly, my spouse and I both make 35K a year gross, we we have an FSA and we save 2.5K of our own money we go from 25% to 15% Tax rate. It our own money, we decide to budget exclusively for heath care. Now by making the requirements
more difficult it forces people 1 either see doctors for trivial matters but more strain on our health care system. 2. Not using the money in the FSA ,which is great, because after 14.5 months all that money reverts back to the government.

It gets better. In the past there was not a cap on how much you could save. So if you had a special needs child you could save 10K to spend if you wanted to needed to, Well now their is a cap of 2.5K total.

John,Tax cut bring... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

John,

Tax cut bring in more revenue to Federal government. Proven over and over by the Budget office. The problem is and always will be that for every 1.00 the US collects it spends 1.5 to 2.00.

The issue is spending. People need to be able to save their own money to take care of themselves. If someone has a lower tax rate because they are spending money on themselves and are less dependent on government is that not a good thing?

So control spending, lower taxes, smaller government more freedom.

Having a physician write a ... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

Having a physician write a prescription for an OTC medication is a waste of the physician's time.

It our own money, we dec... (Below threshold)
john:

It our own money, we decide to budget exclusively for heath care.

It is your money, PLUS the taxes that you would have otherwise paid on it. This idea that tax deductions don't have to be paid for will get us further into debt.

Not using the money in the FSA ,which is great, because after 14.5 months all that money reverts back to the government.

Not a cent of my FSA money has ever reverted back to the government. If yours has, you have managed it poorly.

Tax cut bring in more re... (Below threshold)
john:

Tax cut bring in more revenue to Federal government. Proven over and over by the Budget office.

This is a common right-wing myth, and you are dangerously misinformed. The reality is the opposite. Krugman mentions this point in the article I linked above. And even Boehner is backing off that talking point (www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/08/boehner-refuses-tax-cuts-pay/)

Now by making the requir... (Below threshold)
john:

Now by making the requirements
more difficult it forces people 1 either see doctors for trivial matters but more strain on our health care system.

and

Having a physician write a prescription for an OTC medication is a waste of the physician's time.

This is an invented crisis. No one is going to make a copay to a physician just to get a discount on their aspirin. The rule change doesn't say that OTC meds must be prescribed. It says only that prescriptions are the only things that can be FSA'd.

John,At the end of... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

John,

At the end of the year, if you have "extra" money in your FSA, you will make an appt for those scripts or the money in the FSA will go away. There may NOT be a copay, depending on your plan and it DOES clog the system for patients with actual medical problems....not "financial medical" problems.

Unintended consequences are a reality and NOT an "invented crisis" as you claim. People trying to get something for "free" or at a discounted rate have no regard for the process so long as they recieve their discount.

John, The po... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

John,

The point is that if though red tape you make more difficult to spend. one either has money left in the account or the people pay the penalties for mis spending the money. What is the purpose of having people get a prescription form the doctor for OTC?


I do not use FSA I rather save by keeping money in the bank tha way i face no restrictions.

tax cuts

From 2004 to 2007, federal tax revenues increased by $785 billion, the largest four-year increase in American history. According to the Treasury Department, individual and corporate income tax receipts were up 40 percent in the three years following the Bush tax cuts.


"So the same people who com... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"So the same people who complain about tax-subsidized healthcare are now complaining that some of it is no longer subsidized?

15. Posted by john | January 2, 2011 3:21 AM "

Again with the typical socialist mindset. Using your own pre-tax money for otc medications is not 'subsidized'.

The govt was not giving FSA users money (aka subsidizing). The FSA users were merely allowed to use THEIR OWN untaxed money on meds. Oh, the horror!

Socialists think all money belongs to the govt and whatever the govt decides to let us keep is the way it should be.

Again with the typical s... (Below threshold)
john:

Again with the typical socialist mindset. Using your own pre-tax money for otc medications is not 'subsidized'.

It's monetary assistance granted by a government to a person or group in support of an enterprise regarded as being in the public interest. That's a subsidy.

Socialists think all money belongs to the govt and whatever the govt decides to let us keep is the way it should be.

And you as well, apparently. You give yourself away by noting that "The FSA users were merely allowed to use THEIR OWN untaxed money." You can't use your OWN untaxed income on anything you want, so clearly when you can it's because a regulation explicitly allows it. If you think you have the right to untaxed money for anything you want (as opposed to being "allowed" to use it), then have a nice time in prison.

I'll paraphrase from my post above: Yours is an easy position to ridicule. After all, if you have the absolute right to untaxed income, why not just eliminate taxes altogether?

john, may your chains set l... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

john, may your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countryman.

But mostly just let posterity forget you were our countryman.

Woop, if your 24-y... (Below threshold)
Woop:
Woop, if your 24-year-old daughter is STILL depending on you for such fundamental things as that, then you really did a shitty job as a parent in preparing her to take care of herself. Which doesn't surprise me.

And you're a reel shitheel. She's on your plan, at that low cost, directly BECAUSE Kevin -- and the rest of us -- are paying for it.

Finally, the policy Kevin cited has NO benefit to anyone whatsoever. It's only purpose is to make people less independent, less able to make their own choices.

God hell, you're such an oxygen thief.

J.

And you (and the rest of the chattering idiots who responded similarly) are morons.

My employer makes up the difference in premium, as an employee benefit.

Thanks for proving that the Teabagging minority has their heads up their collective asses and don't even begin to understand the issues they are moaning about.

Sarah Palin leads the pack of whiners, and the idiots like Jay Tea get in line and follow like jackasses - packing in the stupidity and lack of knowledge that is the hallmark of the Tea Party movement.

What a monumental display of stupidity. "We make up the difference" - you do not make up a dime of difference you idiots - my employer does.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy