Impacts of Health Care Reform on Flexible Spending Accounts

Almost every American is going to be affected by the new changes brought into law under the Health Care Reform Legislation. One of the most notable changes that will affect thousands is the alterations that have been made concerning Flexible Spending Accounts.Children Aged up to 26One of the biggest new changes is the new requirement that any group health insurance plan now needs to cover children aged up to 26 years old. This new change will apply to any plan years beginning on or any date after the 23rd September 2010. Note that the majority of plans however, are based on a calendar year and so they won’t be required to start covering these adolescents until the 1st January 2011.Starting from the 30th March 2010, parents will be able to pay for any medical expense for their children using a Flexible Spending Account, irrespective of their tax dependency status, so long as that child does not become 27 during that tax year. So long as employer approval is granted, employees will be able to increase the amount of contributions into a Flexible Spending Account at any time, in order to pay for the medical expenses of any of their dependents aged up to 26 years.Over the Counter DrugsWhile over the counter drugs are still eligible, beginning from the 1st of January 2011, it will be necessary for claimants to produce either a prescription or a letter stating medical necessity, in order to receive reimbursement of the cost of such medicines from a HRA, HAS or FSA. While essential medicines, such as contact lens solution, insulin, bandages and any kind of durable medical equipment will still be covered without needing a prescription, other drugs such as paracetamol and aspirin will no longer be covered.Contribution LimitsThe amount of contributions people can make each year will be lowered significantly. Annual Flexible Spending Accounts contributions will be limited to $2,500 for any tax year that begins after the 31st of December 2012. Previously, most FSA’s had no such limits, though some employers would place limits at around $4,000 to $5,000 per year. From 2014, the new limit will be allowed to increase annually to take into account rising inflation.It is thought that the new limits on FSA’s will make it more attractive for employees to make contributions instead to a Health Savings Account, which is specifically geared towards setting aside pre-tax money to pay for tax free medical costs.

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Protecting Your Heart in Health Care

One of the most difficult things for those in a health care field, whether a physician, nurse or certified medical assistant, is what kind of relationship to form with patients. On the one hand, a relationship that is too cold and distant will be off-putting to patients, making them feel like they are not being cared for. On the other hand, a relationship that is too close will become too exhausting for you, as each death will feel like the loss of a friend.The goal is to find a balance between being caring and becoming so emotionally invested that it is emotionally damaging to oneself. My suggestion is to treat health care with the mindset of a service provider who deals with people on a medium-term basis. When you consider your patients in this manner, it isn’t difficult to be appropriately warm without getting too hurt.What do I mean by a “medium-term service provider”? I am referring here to cases where we work with another person on a medium-term basis, but without necessarily forming a long term one. For example, if we were taking a job working as an electrician on a construction site, we might take the job for a month or two. After that, however, we would move on to another job, without the expectation of necessarily meeting those people again.In such cases, we would be polite, but would not allow ourselves to become too emotionally attached. Of course, if a temporary co-worker were to die, we would be upset, but since that person was more of an acquaintance than a friend, we would not be devastated by it. Nothing about this kind of relationship, however, dictates that we would need to be cold or unfriendly, and the same applies to those with medical assistant certification.

The Modern Dilemma – National Health Care

National health care is a hot issue all over the world at the moments, but in no country more so than in the United States. As health care is not provided free as a rule, there are major debates regarding affordability and value for money. Fewer and fewer people every year have insurance cover should anything happen to them and as a result society is beginning to deteriorate. Very few people would be able to afford expensive health care and thus fewer people are spending on it and prices rise to recoup lost costs and profits. The medical services suffer as a result.Companies used to provide healthcare as standard in every benefits package, but fewer are now offering it. Instead, they are finding ways around it, like using agency applicants rather than taking on individuals to fill job roles independently. Agency fees are generally lower than those charged by insurance companies to ensure that employees are sufficiently covered. However, as hazards in the workplace increase, the nation’s health is beginning to suffer and calls for a national health care system are growing in momentum and volume. A national health care system has already been implemented in the UK and has proved successful so there is a good model to base a US service on.Health costs in the USA are higher than anywhere else in the world at the moment, which does price it out of range for the average person on the street. However, as other national health care systems have proved, health care that is readily available as well as affordable can improve the economy and improve the nation’s health on the whole!Affording National Health CareIt is not a question of whether individuals could afford national health care because, by its nature, it is whether the government can. There are a number of ways that it could be funded. In most cases, the cost is actually funded via taxes. Nobody pays for individual care but there is a flat rate of tax added on to a bill at the end of the year. It could actually be taken straight from an individual’s pay packet every month so that it is not as noticeable for an individual.If it is deemed desirable to keep health insurance as it is now then it may be possible to offer a flat rate for individuals looking to take out the insurance for a national health care system, with the government subsidising it. This would make it more affordable and health care more widely available without adding a tax. However, what would happen if some individuals did not have national health care insurance? Would they be refused treatment? As a result of this question, there are a number of arguments that pick at the flaws. There is also nothing to say that the overall costs can be lowered.National health care does work if it is implemented correctly and it can dramatically improve the nation’s health as a whole, but there may be problems with initial implementation. As long as health care is made available for all at affordable rates, anything is worth a try!