Friday, March 11, 2011


As we reported last summer, those enrolled in tax-advantaged medical accounts (aka FSA/HSA/HRA) got a nasty surprise when we "passed the bill to see what's in it:"

"Health Savings and Flexible Spending Account (HSA and FSA) "funds can no longer be used to purchase OTC drugs and medicines ... unless you have a Note of Medical Necessity (NMN) or a prescription from your doctor."

We wrote at the time that this seemingly simple change "actually increases the cost of health care."

And we were right (of course):

"Patients are demanding doctors' orders for over-the-counter products because of a provision in the health-care overhaul that slipped past nearly everyone's radar [ed: not ours!] ... It drives up the cost of health care as opposed to reducing it," says Dr. Chung"

And of course, in classic "Rule of Unintended(?) Consequences" fashion, many physicians are balking at fulfilling these requests, further driving up the cost of health care (and hence, health insurance).

Told ya so.

[Hat Tip: FoIB Elena Marie]
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