Health Choices Coalition Urges Congress to Improve Employee Healthcare Savings Options

Letters sent to Capitol Hill to reverse OTC Medicine Restrictions on FSAs

Washington, D.C. (March 23, 2012)—Today, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) and the other members of the Health Choices Coalition sent letters to members of Congress urging repeal of the requirement that prevents consumers from using their flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medicines without first getting a doctor’s prescription.  As a result of a provision within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, OTC medicines are no longer eligible for reimbursement under FSAs or other tax-preferred accounts. 

“Over-the-counter medicines serve as a first line of defense for American families’ healthcare needs while offering a valuable cost-savings to consumers,” said CHPA Vice President of Government Affairs John Gay.  “Repeal of this provision can save time and money for patients, physicians, and our healthcare system at large.“

A recent survey by CHPA  revealed that primary care physicians estimated, on average, that 10 percent or more of office visits were unnecessary and could have been avoided by self-management, including the use of OTC medications. 

As the second anniversary of the enactment of healthcare reform approaches, members of the Health Choices Coalition are urging Congress to take action in order to allow consumers to use their FSAs for OTC medicines.

“As Congress considers ways to meet our nation’s healthcare needs effectively, they should work to restore an important incentive for consumers to use efficient healthcare options that save time and money,” said Gay. 

Contacts: Elizabeth Funderburk and Jenni Terry, 202.429.9260 

CHPA is the 131-year-old-trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements.