New FLEX Spending Rules

I’m a big fan of the Flex Spending Account (and the tax money that it saves me). For those of you not familiar with them, Flex Spending Accounts, or FSAs, are offered by most employers as a way to help their employees save a little money by putting pre-tax dollars into a fund specifically to be used for medical purposes (doctor office co-pays, medications, glasses, etc) within one year. The catch: if you don’t use up all the money in that special account by December 31, you forfeit the remaining cash.

Still, it’s always been a helpful plan for me. And then this year, as of Jan. 1, the rules changed. Whereas before you could use your FSA dollars to purchase over-the-counter meds (you know, the Claritins, Benadryls, Robitussins, etc, that keep a family running) you will now need a prescription for the medicine to be eligible for FSA payment (which means more paperwork, more doctor visits for prescriptions, and potentially more co-pays).

Despite the changes, I’m still a fan of FSA. Will you continue to use your account as much as you did before all these new rules made it harder to get meds covered?

For more information on changes, click here.

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