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PTCB to FSA holders: OTCs are still eligible expenses


WASHINGTON — The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board on Tuesday announced a push to inform patients with practical solutions on how to best utilize remaining 2011 flexible spending account funds.

"The Department of Labor estimates that American families spend $185 per year on OTC medications," stated Megan Sheahan, PTCB director of professional affairs. "Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians play an active role in communicating to patients and families that, in addition to being an affordable and accessible component of health care, OTC medications are often eligible for FSA reimbursement with a prescription."

Employees who contribute to FSAs usually must use all of the funds by the end of the plan year or "lose" that non-taxed money altogether. In years past, most OTC medicines were eligible for reimbursement without a prescription, the Affordable Care Act — which went into effect Jan. 1 — established a new standard, classifying many OTCs as eligible for reimbursement but only with a prescription from a physician.

"Medicine Shoppe and Medicap pharmacy teams are committed to helping patients make smart health decisions for themselves and their families, including helping patients make the best use of their flexible healthcare spending accounts," stated John Fiacco, VP and general manager of Medicine Shoppe and Medicap pharmacies. "Pharmacy registers at many Medicine Shoppe and Medicap pharmacies are even equipped with the latest FSA-approved product information, to help patients understand which products qualify for their flexible spending accounts."

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