Statement Regarding OTC Eligibility in FSA/HSA Accounts

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Press Releases and Statements | Jul 28, 2018

“CHPA congratulates Representatives Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Ron Kind (D-WI), and Grace Meng (D-NY) on the House of Representatives’ passage of H.R. 6199, legislation that will restore consumers’ ability to use their Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs) to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. We also applaud members for expanding the bipartisan efforts around this bill by extending HSA/FSA eligibility to feminine hygiene products.

“Millions of American families rely on FSAs, HSAs, and other tax-preferred accounts to purchase a wide range of healthcare products and services, but since 2011, a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has prevented consumers from using savings from these accounts to purchase OTC medicines without a prescription.

“Representatives Jenkins, Kind, and Meng’s bill is common-sense legislation and good health policy for many families who depend on non-prescription OTC medicines to treat common ailments such as allergies, cough and colds, or pain. It’s also good policy for the healthcare system at-large. 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 by reducing unnecessary physician visits and utilizing cheaper treatment options.

“According to a survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CHPA, the majority of Americans (75%) favor including OTCs in FSAs and HSAs. These tax-preferred accounts are utilized by over 50 million Americans today. This bipartisan legislation is also supported by the Health Choices Coalition — representing physicians, dentists, consumers, retailers, manufacturers, pharmacies, pharmacists, patients, insurers, small businesses, and large employers.”

Founded in 1881, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, dietary supplements, and consumer medical devices. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system more than $7, contributing a total of $146 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering consumer self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products.