Ways & Means Committee Advances Bill Restoring OTC Eligibility in FSA/HSA Accounts

Bipartisan legislation also expands eligibility to feminine hygiene products

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 12, 2018) — Today, the House Ways and Means Committee approved H.R. 6199, a bipartisan bill that includes the Restoring Access to Medication Act (RAMA) language to reinstate consumers’ ability to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medicines with tax-preferred savings accounts, including Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs). The legislation, authored by Representatives Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Ron Kind (D-WI), and Grace Meng (D-NY), also extends HSA/FSA eligibility to feminine hygiene products.

Millions of American families rely on FSAs, HSAs, and other tax-preferred accounts to help meet their basic healthcare needs, including the purchase of OTC medicines. However, since 2011, a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has prevented consumers from using these savings to purchase OTC products.  

“American families depend on OTC medicines to meet their healthcare needs and treat common ailments such as allergies, cough and colds, or pain,” said Scott Melville, president and CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA). “We know that the majority of Americans (75%) favor including OTC medicines in FSAs and HSAs. Today’s committee vote gets us one step closer to restoring a common-sense benefit that saves consumers money on products they need to conveniently and cost-effectively manage their health. We also applaud members for expanding the bipartisan efforts around this bill by extending HSA/FSA eligibility to feminine hygiene products.” 

At the markup, Reps. Jenkins and Kind spoke in support of the legislation, which passed the committee by a vote of 14-10.

“We are encouraged by the continued bipartisan support behind RAMA and hope to see the legislation move forward in the House as well as the Senate,” said Melville. “It is long overdue for Congress to restore this important benefit as consumers have unfairly paid the price for the OTC FSA/HSA exclusion since it was first implemented in 2011.”

Additionally, CHPA and the Health Choices Coalition – representing physicians, dentists, consumers, retailers, manufacturers, pharmacies, pharmacists, patients, insurers, small businesses, and large employers – sent a letter of support yesterday to the bill sponsors.

   
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The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 137-year-old national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system $6-$7, contributing a total of $102 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products. chpa.org 

 

Contact: Lauren Bloomberg (lbloomberg@chpa.org

202.429.3534