Support bill to include vitamins, dietary supplements as eligible medical expenses in FSAs, HSAs
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Individuals who help pay for their medical expenses with Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) may soon be able to use these programs to buy herbs, vitamins, minerals, meal replacement products, homeopathic remedies, and various other dietary and health supplements that are not currently eligible.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) recently introduced S. 1098, the Family and Retirement Health Investment Act of 2011, which if passed will amend current law to cover a host of complementary and alternative medicine products not covered by current plans.
Introduced on May 26, 2011, S. 1098 has already been read twice before the Senate, and has now been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. Its sister bill in the House, HR 2010, introduced by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means, as well as the Committees on the Judiciary, and Energy and Commerce.
While both bills have received favorable treatment thus far, your support is needed to help ensure they get passed. HSAs, as some NaturalNews readers may already know, are tax exempt savings accounts by which individuals can put away a portion of their income tax-free, which can then be used for medical expenses. As it currently stands, however, most natural treatments are exempt, which limits the freedom of individuals to choose their own mode of health care.
With the exception of a few small provisions in the bills that need amending, the Alliance for Natural Health – USA (ANH-USA) has endorsed them both, and has even created a convenient Action Item page that you can use to contact your representatives to urge support. You can access the Action Item page here: https://secure3.convio.net/aahf/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=823
In an ideal world, regular health insurance plans would cover the cost of dietary supplements, vitamins and minerals, and other forms of nutrition-based health care interventions. Though S. 1098 and HR 2010 do not accomplish this much, they at least allow holders of HSAs and FSAs to access the medicines of their choice without being restricted by outside forces.