Making the Most of Health Care Spending Accounts
A big change in federal tax law is making it more important that ever to have an established, communicative relationship with your primary doctor.
In today’s Angie’s List segment, Angie Hicks shows you how to get the most of your heath care spending account.
Effective Jan. 1, 2011 anyone using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA) or Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) to purchase any over-the-counter medicines will first need a doctor’s prescription, or the purchase will be denied or ineligible to be reimbursed. In the past, consumers with health care spending accounts could be reimbursed for these purchases without a doctor’s authorization.
What that means for consumers:
Money Saving Advice:
For those who must use their funds by the end of the year – and can’t, or don’t want to bother with getting prescriptions filled – there are other medical items you can purchase with your health care spending account that you might not ordinarily think of:
· Use your funds for items like glasses, bandages, braces and supports, ice packs, thermometers, and personal medical supplies.
· You can use your allocated health dollars to join a weight loss program, if it is for treatment of a specific disease, visit a chiropractor or see an acupuncturist. Those with diagnosed hearing loss can purchase qualifying specialty televisions and telephones.
· A health care spending account can even pay to reconfigure an automobile to accommodate a disability, or to modify your home to accommodate a medical condition. It can also pay for the cost of removing lead-based paints from your home.
· Visit http://www.irs.gov/publications/p502/index.html for a complete list of qualifying and non-qualifying purchases, or call your plan administrator or human resources specialist to be doubly sure you’re following the rules.