Coalition wants Congress to restore nonprescription medications to FSA, HSA eligibility

December 21, 2010

A coalition representing pharmacies, retail food stores, pharmacists, and the makers of OTC medicines is urging Congress to repeal the requirement that prevents consumers from using their FSAs and HSAs to purchase OTC medicines without a prescription.

A coalition representing pharmacies, retail food stores, pharmacists, and the makers of OTC medicines is urging Congress to repeal the requirement that prevents consumers from using their flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) to purchase OTC medicines without a prescription.

The provision, enacted into law as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (healthcare reform), removes OTC medications from the list of eligible medical expenses for FSAs and HSAs, effective Jan. 1, 2011.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, American Pharmacists Association, National Community Pharmacists Association, National Grocers Association, Food Marketing Institute, and Consumer Healthcare Products Association are seeking a repeal or delay of this provision, which they maintain will affect 35 million Americans.

“These new rules inject consumer confusion and logistical burdens that disrupt efficient patient care at the exact time when patients are feeling their worst,” said Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, president and CEO of NACDS.