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Brock Kernin


  • This changed a few years back, I think as part of Obamacare. The main reason is that your HSA contributions are pre-tax, so you used to be able to effectively purchase OTC items tax free. To offset some of the costs of Obamacare, this was effectively eliminated to bring back the revenue stream.

  • This did change as part of the ACA legislation as a way to fund it (we are working to get this reversed).

    You can still get reimbursed for over the counter expenses. Ask you doctor to write you a prescription for the over the counter item (which they will gladly do when you explain why you need it). It is a pain, which is why Congress changed the rule, but you still can get reimbursed from an HSA or FSA for these types of items if you get a prescription for them.

  • @Jim Hayes – thanks for the clarification….I wondered if that was the case. I’d like to see the look on my doctor’s face if I asked him to write a prescription for OTC drugs. 🙂

  • @Brock – You are welcome and it is ironic that the same legislation attempting to reduce healthcare expenses and offer coverage to more Americans eliminated the ability to buy OTC drugs tax free without visiting a doctor (increasing costs).

    Yes, you will get the “why would I do that?” face from your doctor and it is worth it depending on how many OTC drugs you are purchasing in a year. If you all ever have FSA, HSA, or 401K questions for future posts feel free to email me.

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