Elections will change health reform, but what's changing now?

By Megg Mueller on December 12th, 2010

After the recent election it's pretty easy to say that health care reform is in for a whole new round of fighting. As soon as the Republicans gained control of the House, incoming House Speaker John Boehner tossed down this gauntlet: Republicans will work to repeal President Obama's health care law.

Will your healthcare plan change?

So now what? The GOP doesn't plan to completely kill health care reform, according to a story in USA Today, but it does want to toss Obama's plan and create what it calls "common sense reforms designed to lower health care costs."

But as we all know, talk is cheap, and while it's fairly certain we'll see some changes to the current health care reform laws, it's not going to be overnight. Until the dust settles, the fact remains most people who have group health insurance through their employer are entering their open-enrollment period and could face a number of changes. Remember, if your plan stays almost the same as it is now, most of the new laws don't apply. But if you are offered a substantially new plan, you'll see some changes, reports Time.com.

Big changes for flexible spending accounts

One of the more significant changes is in what is covered by flexible spending accounts. Flexible spending accounts are the pre-tax accounts that let you pay for medical expenses like health insurance co-pays, and medications.

But under the new law, you will no longer be allowed to pay for over-the-counter medications with your FSA. Before, you could pay for things like Tylenol, bandages, etc., so it made sense to fund this account pretty substantially, but with this change, it might be a good idea to take another look at your contribution. You don't want to end up having more money in the account you can use, because for most FSA's if you don't use it, you lose it.

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