September 9, 2010

Benefits Open Enrollment: Changes to Health Flexible Spending Account Over-the-Counter Purchases

Currently, over-the-counter medicines, such as aspirin, cold remedies, digestive aids, bandages, contact lens solution, etc., can be purchased using the PayFlex Health Flexible Spending Account credit card.

The ability to make some of those purchases will change in January 2011 due to federal health care reform legislation. After January, if you want to purchase OTC medicines using your Health FSA, you will need a prescription from your doctor. You will still be able to purchase bandages, contact lens solution and non-medicinal items with your FSA without a prescription.

These changes also impact OTC purchases from the Health Reimbursement Account (formerly Flexible Reimbursement Account), as both types of accounts are governed by the same Internal Revenue Service regulations.

Keep this in mind when determining your 2011 Health FSA contribution, as any funds not used will be forfeited.

All Vanderbilt employees must complete an online enrollment form this year. Even if you plan to waive every benefit, you must complete an online enrollment form, or you will receive default benefits.

For more information on Open Enrollment, visit or see the article from House Organ at