Changes coming in healthcare coverage in 2011 - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Changes coming in healthcare coverage in 2011

FT. MITCHELL, KY (FOX 19) – Changes are coming to your healthcare plan if you have a health savings account, HSA, or flex spending account.

Starting January 1 over-the-counter medicine will not be covered using HSA funds without a doctor's prescription.

The changes are part of the sweeping healthcare reform legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in March.

The pharmacist at the Ft. Mitchell Drug Shoppe in Kentucky says he liked it the old way and thinks the new restrictions are inconvenient.

"I think it's going to increase our workload because now if they need a prescription from their doctor that's going to be more work on the doctor, more work on us, it's just going to cause more paperwork for everyone," says Michael Bosch, a pharmacist with 17 years experience at Drug Shoppe.

But not everyone is concerned, consumers with an HSA card say they primarily use it for larger expenses like a doctor's appointment instead of purchasing Tylenol.

"I mainly save that card for doctor's visits because when you have four kids, you have lots of doctor's visits," says John Farrell of Edgewood, Kentucky.

The legislation prohibits the purchase of all over-the-counter drugs including vitamins but allows the purchase of first-aid necessities like crutches, Band-aids and Neosporin. Consumers can also continue to use their HSA card for buying contacts and eyeglasses.

Healthcare experts recommend patients talking with their doctor and their yearly exam and making a list of the possible over-the-counter drugs they might need in order to get the prescriptions written in advance.

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