New regulations in 2011 will no longer allow people to purchase over the counter medications with their health care flex-spending debit cards, unless their physician has written them a prescription for that OTC product. Even then, the rules for reimbursement will vary among insurance plans --- my own plan, for instance, still requires a different method of payment and for me to manually submit items, including a copy of the prescription, to them.
It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. First of all, we need people to know how their own plan handles this, and we all know how splendidly it works out when we ask people to understand their own insurance. (Not.) There are going to be lots of people who will be asking US to get those prescriptions FOR them, as in "Can you call my doctor and get a prescription for Robitussin DM and how-long-will-that-take and when-can-I-pick-it-up," etc. And even though we are using technician and pharmacist time to process these as prescriptions, we have been told that ultimately we will still charge only the OTC price, because that is what other pharmacies are doing (....true?) So the time we spend fiddling around with this will be free.
We have a good proportion of customers who use these FSA debit cards, and I feel sure that none of them will know about this change. I seldom claim for OTC's myself --- I don't buy that many and I tend to throw out the receipt without thinking. Is it worth the trouble? Get the generics, clip the coupons, and ask your friendly pharmacist if it's worth the price. If they wanted to change the rule, maybe it should have been no more OTC claims, with or without a 'prescription.' Save the paperwork. We've got enough already.