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Q&A: Benefiber, other products temporarily unavailable because of packaging issues

Why Benefiber isn't on shelves

Has the product Benefiber been taken off the market? I have not been able to find it at any of the major retail stores for months.

Benefiber, a dietary supplement, was one of many products that became hard to find when the Novartis manufacturing plant in Lincoln, Neb., mislabeled or mispackaged products in January and was closed for retooling.

Excedrin, NoDoz, Bufferin and Gas-X Prevention were recalled because of the plant's problems. Other products affected by the shutdown were Benefiber, cold and flu drugs Theraflu and Triaminic, the antifungal Lamisil and the stomach drug Maalox.

Julie Malow, a Novartis spokeswoman, released this statement: "Novartis Consumer Health, the maker of Benefiber, took pre-emptive actions to ensure our products meet the highest quality standards, including temporarily voluntarily suspending operations at the Novartis Consumer Health Lincoln facility that produces Benefiber as well as suspending shipments from the site. As a result, Benefiber products are temporarily unavailable.

"We apologize for the inconvenience that this might cause consumers and we are working hard to resume production at our Lincoln facility and return Benefiber back to store shelves as soon as possible. Consumers with questions about Benefiber can call our customer service representatives toll-free at 1-800-452-0051."

Health coverage for adult kids

As I understand it, Obamacare requires a family's health insurance policy to continue covering adult children up to age 26. If Gov. Scott refuses to implement Obamacare, will that requirement be deleted? And if it's still enforced, what are the requirements for adult children to be covered?

The Affordable Care Act allows parents to keep their children under the age of 26 on their health insurance, if their plan extends coverage to children. That is not an optional provision of the law, so Gov. Rick Scott cannot opt out.

Your children can join or stay on your plan even if they are married, not financially dependent on you or not living with you. This applies to all health insurance plans and to new employer plans. It also applies to existing plans unless the adult child can get his own job-based insurance.

And starting in 2014, children under 26 can stay on their parents' plan even if they have the option of getting coverage from their employer.

The rule on presidential gifts

Can the president keep gifts he receives?

U.S. presidents can keep gifts, but they are required to fill out financial disclosure forms on anything they retain that's valued at more than $350.

"In most cases, the president and the vice president accept gifts on behalf of the U.S. government, and the items are turned over to the National Archives, rather than kept for personal use," Bloomberg reported.

Q&A: Benefiber, other products temporarily unavailable because of packaging issues

07/29/12 [Last modified: Sunday, July 29, 2012 5:30am]

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