Washington, D.C.—Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to permit expenditures from health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending arrangements (FSAs), and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) to be used for dietary supplements.
H.R. 5214, introduced by Representatives John Curtis (R-UT) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 by adding: “Amounts paid for a dietary supplement [as defined by the FDCA] shall be treated as amounts paid for medical care.” Additionally, for reimbursements from FSAs and HRAs, section 106 of such code would be amended by adding: “For purposes of this section and section 105, expenses incurred for a dietary supplement [as defined by the FDCA] shall be treated as incurred for medical care.”
The bill mirrors one introduced in the U.S. Senate this spring by Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND).
The amendments would apply to taxable years ending after the date of the bill’s approval.
Michael McGuffin, President of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), said in a statement: “Putting consumers in charge of their health choices and allowing them to make informed decisions about their healthcare—as this legislation would do—makes good policy sense. Permitting dietary supplements to be eligible expenditures under HSAs, FSAs, and HRAs would incentivize healthy behaviors and consumer choice. Reps. Gottheimer and Curtis recognize the contributions of these products in leading to better health and wellness of Americans. AHPA is grateful for their leadership on this issue and wholeheartedly supports this important measure.”
Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Natural Products Association (NPA), also made a statement: “Expanding access to supplements benefits everyone. We urge our members to contact their elected officials in Washington and let them know how important expanding access to dietary supplements is to the health of their constituents. We would also like to thank Reps. Curtis and Gottheimer and their staffs for their support and wanting to expand choices for hundreds of millions of Americans who use supplements to stay healthy.”
Steve Mister, CEO and President of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), added: “We believe in incentivizing healthy behaviors and empowering consumer choice. Dietary supplements are cost-effective measures to manage and improve health and wellness that can save taxpayers hundreds of millions—and in some cases billions—of dollars in healthcare costs. CRN enthusiastically supports this legislation. We look forward to working with both sponsors in gathering support and advancing this measure.”
Scott Melville, President and CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, also released a statement applauding this bipartisan legislation: “Estimates show that around 60 million consumers already utilize FSAs and HSAs to save money on eligible healthcare expenses, including OTC medicines and feminine hygiene products. As consumers are increasingly turning to dietary supplements to support their overall health and wellness, expanding FSA/HSA eligibility to include dietary supplements is an efficient way to help consumers with their health and wellness expenses…The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports nearly 60 percent of Americans take dietary supplements each month. Extending FSA/HSA eligibility to dietary supplements would save consumers money on the products that many are already purchasing to meet their healthcare needs and help promote smart self-care behavior.
“CHPA has long-advocated for the expansion of FSA/HSA eligibility to include more personal healthcare products,” Melville continued. “Last year, a new law was signed reinstating FSA/HSA eligibility for over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and, for the first time, feminine care products. There is clear momentum to help consumers with their self-care expenses by expanding eligibility in tax-preferred healthcare accounts, and we hope Congress extends this to dietary supplements as well.”