CHPA Applauds Congressional Effort to Improve Employee Healthcare Savings Options

Flexible spending account legislation will end the "use if or lose it" risk of FSAs

Washington, D.C. (May 12, 2004)—The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) announced support of legislation passed today in the U.S. House of Representatives designed to make flexible spending accounts (FSAs) even more attractive to employees.

Sponsored by Jim McCrery (R-La.), H.R. 4279 will allow an employee’s unused FSA money, not to exceed $500, to be carried forward to the next year’s health plan or contributed by the employer to a health savings account maintained for the benefit of the employee. The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration.

“CHPA is a strong proponent of helping consumers receive the most benefit from their flexible spending accounts,” said CHPA President Linda A. Suydam, D.P.A. “An allowable roll-over of up to $500 a year may seem a modest reform to some, but the added safeguard will encourage greater use of this budget-savvy healthcare benefit by eliminating the use-it-or-lose-it risk inherent in FSAs.”

In the past year, the federal government has expanded FSA coverage to include over-the-counter medicines in addition to offering its own employees access to FSAs. “CHPA is pleased that the U.S. House of Representatives has joined the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service in the growing number of government agencies that recognize and support consumers taking a more active role in managing their own healthcare,” concluded Suydam.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Additional information on CHPA’s support of the IRS ruling making OTCs tax deductible can be found at http://www.chpa-info.org/content.aspx?id=151&pid=123&cc=4.

Contacts: Elizabeth Assey and Mimi Pappas, 202.429.9260


CHPA is the 123-year-old trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplement products.