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01 January 2011

New Rules for Massachusetts

 Post by Detentus

Just a heads up for MA residents as to what's coming down the pike(not the MA Pike) for changes in health insurance and prescription drugs, effective Janurary, 2011.

From the Worcester Telegram and Gazette:

"Patients will have to start showing identification before picking up a wider range of prescription drugs in Massachusetts in 2011.

Under new regulations that take effect Jan. 1, patients will have to show pharmacists their IDs to obtain so-called "Schedule 3, 4, and 5" drugs, including Valium, Vicodin and Ativan.

Health officials say the drugs are serious medication which continue to be implicated in prescription drug abuse, overdoses and overdose deaths.

Patients already have to show their IDs for drugs like OxyContin.

The new information will be entered into the state's Prescription Drug Monitoring database to ensure the prescriptions are being used appropriately.

Officials say the new regulations were crafted to ensure patient privacy"

What privacy? This information will be entered into a database and there are already strict laws on the books(always have been) to ensure that pharmacies abide by proper dispensing of narcotics and other controlled substances.
What's next? Even more ID shown? In addition to that prescription from your physician: a passport, birth certificate or maybe a note from Mommy.

There's more for MA residents. The fine for not having health insurance is about to go up. Currently the monthly fine is $93.00 monthly. The increase will be $101.00 a month or roughly $1,200.00 per year. These figures are based upon age and income.

Finally, under the new federal health care reform bill, medical savings accounts will be severely restricted and those who use them will be barred from putting away a portion of their income(tax free) to cover their own medical needs. In other words, those OTC(over the counter) medications cannot be purchased without a doctor's prescription if you want this to be included in this program. So, you now will have to pay for a doctor's visit and obtain a prescription. Some savings considering that co-payments have increased dramatically.

Maybe I'm reading too much into this but I just got a visual. Got heartburn? Get that prescription for Tums, Rolaids and Maalox. Stuffy nose? No anti-histamine for you unless you call the doctor first. Aspirin, ibuprophen, Tylenol, baby aspirin, vitamins, herbal supplements, first aid kits, bandaids, calamine lotion, Witch Hazel.....will we need a prescription for these, too? Laxatives and anti-diarrheal products like Immodium.

I don't like what I see.

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