Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ch-ch-changes: HSA/FSA vs ObamaCare©

As if further proof were needed that ObamaCare© has little (if anything) to do with actual care, we learn from our favorite Flexible Benefits guru Pete Deist that, come January:

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."

In classic gummint fashion, though, one may (apparently) continue to use these tax-advantaged dollars to purchase non-medical items (such as contact lens supplies, batteries for hearing aids, etc). This just underscores how out-of-touch our CongressCritters really are. This is especially egregious when it comes to HSA money, since these types of plans are the only ones which actually impact the cost of health care.

The other "alternative benefit," HRA ([Health Reimbursement Arrangement], is similarly curtailed. And it's also worth noting that, come 2013, the cap (maximum contribution limit) on FSA's is reduced to $2500, a 50% reduction in this valuable benefit [Correction from FoIB Alissa C: "health FSAs currently have a federal cap of earned income (essentially no cap). It's currently up to the employer to set the maximum. $5,000 is the maximum for dependent care if single or married/filing jointly." HGS].

The real problem here is that this actually increases the cost of health care, in direct contradiction to the stated purpose of ObamaCare©. It makes less expensive treatments less affordable, and actually requires additional office visits (which aren't free) in order to buy Over-The-Counter med's. Sure glad we "passed it to see what's in it."

Aren't you?

[Hat Tip: FoIB Suzy R]
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