Starting this month you’ll no longer be able to use your flexible spending account (FSA) for over-the-counter drugs and medicines unless you have a doctor’s prescription. So forget those routine drugstore purchases like aspirin and vitamins.
Since employee contributions to FSAs are made on a pretax basis, they reduce taxable earnings and thus the amount workers pay in income tax. Financial experts say the feds were simply looking for ways to perhaps get consumers to contribute less to their FSA, allowing more taxable income to be left on the table. An estimated $5 billion in federal revenues through 2019 is predicted.
The new regs do not apply to insulin and medical equipment and supplies such as crutches and bandages or to diagnostic devices such as blood sugar test kits.æ
Some groups like the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America are not happy noting that 50æmillion Americans have allergies, and many can control their symptoms with over-the-counter medications.
So use your FSA properly to avoid getting “dinged” by the feds.