Legislation Introduced to Restore OTC Drugs
How doesHR 1270 affect OTC drugs?
HR 1270 was passed on July 6th, 2016 by the U.S. House of Representatives in a 243 to 164 vote. The U.S. Senate will vote on the bill next. If the bill passes without the Senate modifying its language, then all OTC medications will be eligible for reimbursement with your consumer-directed healthcare accounts.(If the Senate modifies the bill's language, the House will have to vote again). But, if Congress passes the bill, then you won't need a prescription anymore – that change was introduced in 2011 in conjunction with the Affordable Care Act.
When will HR 1270 come into effect?
The Senate's 2016 summer recess starts on July 16th and ends on September 5th. If the Senate passes the bill, the President will either sign the bill into law, or veto it. If everything goes “without a hitch" then HR1270 could come into effect before the end of 2016, but it's equally possible that the bill won't come into effect until sometime in 2017.
What if HR 1270 doesn't come into effect?
It's extremely common for bills to change their wording, get caught up in revisions, and/or simply fail to pass after successive re-writes. In the meantime, hold your receipts! But, if HR 1270 doesn't come into effect, then the rules for reimbursing OTC drugs and medicines with a consumer-directed healthcare plan will remain the same as they have since 2011. All you need to do is speak with a doctor and obtain a prescription to treat, alleviate or prevent the medical condition or disease by using a given OTC drug. That expense will always be reimbursable!
What else should I know about HR 1270?
Without getting into politics, it's fair to expect changes in attitudes about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its advantages and limitations as the makeup of our Senate, House, and Executive Branch with upcoming elections. You can learn more about the legislative steps of HR 1270 on the official website of Congress (https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1270) or set a news alert through any major search engine to hear updates through the media.
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