Report: Legislation restoring FSA OTC coverage is coming

Groundswell of support gearing for battle, Politico says

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.

Sen. Kay Hutchison, R-Texas, and Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., are expected to introduce legislation that would remove two restrictions on the use of FSAs: the aforementioned OTC prescription requirement and a $2,500 cap on employee contributions, which goes into effect in 2013.

Save Flexible Spending Plans, a consumer advocacy campaign created by the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation, also has plans to increase awareness around the issue on the Hill. The site currently is collecting individual stories with the intent of passing those along to members of Congress.

And the Foundation for HealthSMART Consumers, a New Jersey nonprofit, estimated that the prescription-restriction on FSA OTCs will end up costing an additional $695 million in healthcare spending.

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