California flood, mud disaster
Merry Christmas 2010
from the Texas Christmas Armadillo

Don't forget an FSA gift for yourself

As you head out on this Christmas Eve to pick up last-minute presents, don't forget a tax-related gift for yourself.

This is the last year that you can easily spend medical flexible spending account, or FSA, funds on over-the-counter, or OTC, medications.

With this workplace benefit, you put money in your FSA before it's taxed. Then you use the funds to pay for allowable medical expenses. For years, OTC drugs have filled up the shopping bags of FSA owners looking to spend down their accounts, usually by Dec. 31, so they don't lose the money.

The OTC option has been tightened beginning in 2011 thanks to a provision in the health care reform act. Next year, you'll need a doctor's prescription for that NyQuil and Tylenol for it to be FSA reimbursable. Sneezing woman BW

I bring this up now because if your holiday family gathering is anything like mine, those antacids (sure, Mom, I'll have another piece of pie), aspirin (cousin Jim can you keep your kids quiet for just five minutes?!) and cold treatments (really, Uncle Billy, we're glad you decided to come visit even though you have that terrible cough) will come in very handy.

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