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New Payment Options for Over the Counter Medications

Insurance Companies in Indiana are aware that recently, changes have been made that impact the purchase of Over the Counter medicines (OTC). People can still purchase allergy, cold, and flu medications OTC, as well as many other medications. However, one big change has been the use of health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts for these purchases.

In the past, patients could get a tax break for their OTC medication by using money from these funds as payment. Due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), otherwise known as Obamacare, patients can no longer use their health savings account funds to purchase OTC medicine without a prescription. Some argue that this eliminates the financial benefit to the patient, as he or she must take time off work to make an appointment and then pay the medical expenses associated with the medical appointment.

Some physicians are not in favor of this law, and are striving to have it rescinded. They argue that it has resulted in gross bloating of their practices due to non-crucial medical appointments. It has also, they add, resulted in strain between doctors and patients when the doctor fails to write a prescription or is unable to schedule an appointment for a patient in a timely manner.

In a bold and somewhat controversial move, the FDA is considering the option for people to self-diagnose and prescribe their own medications. The FDA is basing this on the idea that in recent years, an increasing number of people look up their symptoms on the internet and self diagnose. The argument is that they should be well enough informed via these resources to obtain prescription medication OTC without a written prescription from a doctor.

Dr. Janet Woodcock of the FDA feels this option should be offered due to the significant number of self-diagnosing interactive mechanisms. She cites the use of electronic health records and information technology that links patients to their doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies. This type of medical care could be implemented through remote diagnosis, online surveys, and patient kiosks. These information gathering devices would match the medication to the symptoms, and the patient would then have the ability to purchase the medication without having physically seen a doctor.

The proposal is that in certain situations, pharmacists would step into the role typically held by doctors. Insurance companies in Indiana are somewhat cautious of this radical type of medical treatment. While it could theoretically reduce the cost of medical care initially, misdiagnosis could be destructive to the overall health of the population. The personal and financial toll this could take could be enormous. The American Medical Association is one organization that has adopted a hard line stance against this development.

CRInsure.com represents a broad scope of insurance companies in Indiana, offering free quotes and information on each. These insurance providers strive to stay abreast of changes in the regulation of medical services as well as regulation of the insurance industry. Visit the website to learn more.