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Health Savings Accounts to Cover Natural Products?

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Alliance for Natural Health

Drug MoneyAn important bill that expands access to natural health medicines and practitioners has been reintroduced. It needs our support.

For years now, ANH-USA has supported the Health Savings Act. The current bill, S. 12, is sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and allows Health Savings Account (HSA) funds to go toward dietary supplements without having to get a doctor’s prescription; the same would apply to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). The bill does this by expanding the term “medical care” to include vitamins, minerals, herbs, homeopathic remedies, and other natural health products, and would allow spending up to $1,000 each year. Similar legislation was introduced in 2011, 2013, and 2017.

Importantly, the bill also includes health coaches and nutrition services as allowable expenses for HSAs and FSAs. This provision was not included in earlier versions of the bill. If passed, this bill will improve access to wellness and nutrition services for millions of people by allowing them to use pre-tax dollars for these expenses.

HSAs allow consumers to pay for current health care expenses and save for future expenses. They offer a number of advantages. First, HSA contributions are tax-deductible. Second, the interest earned on money in the account is tax-free. Third, tax-free withdrawals can be made for qualified medical expenses. HSAs are also a good way to put money aside for health expenses later in life, when these costs may increase.

Keep in mind that HSAs have contribution limits. In 2019, the limit for an individual account is $3,500; for a family HSA, the limit is $7,000.

By making health coaches, nutrition services, and dietary supplements more affordable, this bill increases consumer choice and empowers individuals to take a proactive approach to their health.

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© 2019 Alliance for Natural Health, CC BY-ND 3.0

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