Reps Introduce Dietary Supplement Tax Fairness Act – WholeFoods Magazine
Washington, D.C.—Representatives Brendan Boyle (D-PA) and Darin LaHood (R-IL) have introduced the Dietary Supplement Tax Fairness Act, a companion to S.1654.
Right now, current tax code does not allow Americans with HSAs, FSAs, and HRAs to be reimbursed for the out-of-pocked expenses they pay for nutritional and dietary supplements. This legislation would amend the Internal Revenue Code to include certain OTC supplements as a qualified medical expense, allowing Americans to be reimbursed from their HSAs, FSAs, or HRAs for the out-of-pocket expense.
“The recent global health pandemic has taught us the importance of maintaining a nutrient-rich diet to maintain our health,” said Congressman Boyle in a press release. “More than 22 million Americans have chosen to enroll in a health savings account coupled with a consumer-direct health plan. Given this significant growth, action should be taken to better meet consumer needs. Since HSAs, FSAs, and HRAs, require a prescription for the reimbursement of vitamins it makes sense to remove barriers to supplementing nutrient-deficient diets. Our bill takes a step in that direction.”
Roughly 80% of Americans use vitamins and supplements, the press release notes, which can help play a part in preventative care.
“Ensuring that Americans are able to utilize their Health Savings Accounts (HSA) as a tool to make personal healthcare choices for their families remains one of my priorities. As we work to climb out of the pandemic, ensuring my constituents have the resources they need to support opportunities for a healthy lifestyle, including the purchasing of vitamins and minerals, is important,” said Rep. LaHood. “As enrollment in HSA’s continues to grow, our bill would remove unnecessary barriers to better meet the needs of consumers. This bipartisan approach would allow over-the-counter vitamins and minerals to be considered as qualified medical expenses under HSAs, FSAs, and HRAs, so that a patient can utilize their health savings dollars to access these dietary supplements.”
Related: House Introduces HSA/FSA/HRA Legislation
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The Natural Products Association (NPA) applauded the move, and has distributed a letter to the American Herbal Products Association, Council for Responsible Nutrition, Consumer Health Products Association, and United Natural Products Alliance, calling for support of S.1654 and the House companion bill.
“In order to continue this great momentum, it’s crucial for the industry to come together in support of these bills,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., President and CEO of NPA, in a press release. “As companion pieces of legislation with sponsors on the appropriate committees, these two bills represent our best chance at expanding access to supplements. This common-sense solution will help keep Americans healthy as we continue to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. We would like to thank Reps. Boyle and LaHood and Reps. Curtis and Gottheimer for their support and look forward to working together on this important issue for the health of millions of Americans.”
Kyle Turk, Director of Government Affairs at NPA, says the future looks bright for this bill: “As members of the House Ways & Means Committee, Reps. Boyle and LaHood are in a strong position to advance this bill through Congress.”