If you use a pre-tax health savings account (flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA), or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA)) to pay for over-the-counter medicines like aspirin, cold medicine, or antacids, you'll be required to have a prescription from your doctor.
That's right! Because if you don't have a prescription starting Jan. 1, the money you used to pay for your over-the-counter medications will be considered taxable income by the IRS, and subject to an additional 20% tax penalty to boot.
Under the new health care law, consumers using workplace pre-tax health savings accounts will soon need a doctor's note to pay for Tylenol and an estimated 15,000 other over-the-counter drugs.
Starting Jan. 1, employees who use flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health saving accounts (HSAs), or health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) to pay for common medications such as pain relievers, cold medicines, antacids and allergy medications will need prescriptions. The new rules don't apply to insulin.
The new rules will also prohibit the use of FSA or HRA debit cards provided by administrative plans for over-the-counter purchases, because the IRS says there's no way to prove the drugs were prescribed.
The IRS says any money removed from HSA accounts to pay for medical expenses bought without a prescription will be included as taxable income and subject to an additional tax of 20 percent.
Washington, DC really believes that all your money belongs to them. They like to control what they own too, so now you can't even buy over-the-counter medications without obtaining the proper permissions. And in controlling the way you buy medicine, they're making it known that they believe they own you too.
Of course, needing to go see your doctor to get a prescription for aspirin and Rolaids adds an additional layer of cost to caring for yourself and your family. These higher health care costs will in turn drive demand for yet more government "solutions." It's a win-win for politicians and government bureaucrats, while as per usual, the mundane taxpayers get stuck at the losing end of the stick (and with the bill).
If I actually thought politicians were smart enough, I'd swear they designed it that way on purpose.