WASHINGTON _ New Jersey Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7th), a member of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, supported two measures in the U.S. House Wednesday today to overhaul health savings accounts and flexible spending arrangements to give patients more choices and options in using those plans to cover health care costs.
The two measures, the Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act (H.R. 6199) and theIncreasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act(H.R. 6311) will allow patients to use their HSAs and FSAs for more expenses – saving the patient money by using pre-tax dollars or helping patients save more money in the long-term.
“Twenty-two million Americans have health savings accounts – we need to be expanding and enhancing the utility of these accounts and enable middle-class families to save more and use the accounts to meet their financial or health care needs to a better extent. These measures dramatically increase the amount that can be saved tax-free for health care and eliminates outdated rules restricting choice by expanding qualified medical expenses. Stronger, more effective HSAs give families portability and better enable long-term planning and saving,” said Lance.
H.R. 6199 expands the scope of qualified medical expenses to provide greater incentive for individuals to enroll in HSAs and to make an HSAs work better for individuals and families. The measure:
• Allows first dollar coverage flexibility for High Deductible Health Plans;
• Allows for HSA funds to be used to pay for Direct Primary Care Service Arrangements;
• Allows HSA funds to be used for Over-The-Counter Medical Products;
• Allows HSA funds to be used on limited basis for certain Fitness, and Exercise and physical activities.
H.R. 6311, also implements reforms such as:
• Carryforward of Health Flexible Spending Arrangement Account Balances;
• Doubling of allowable HSA contributions;
• Allowance of Bronze and Catastrophic Plans to be HSA-elgible;
• Delays the Health Insurance Tax for additional two years.