Introduced legislation (HR 8450) would make masks, surface disinfectants and hand sanitizer eligible for purchase with tax-free healthcare dollars
NEW YORK (PRWEB) OCTOBER 22, 2020
For more than 70 million Americans, flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) help pay for everyday health care costs like doctor visits and co-payments, surprise medical bills, and thousands of qualified medical products that consumers use every day. These pre-tax funded accounts have become even more vital this year, as account holders have turned to their FSAs and HSAs to help cover the costs of medical services and COVID-19 virus preparedness items like thermometers, oximeters, and more.
Unfortunately, when these same Americans tried to use their FSAs and HSAs to cover the costs of masks, surface disinfectants and hand sanitizer — recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of their guidelines for stopping the spread of COVID-19 — they were shocked to find that these products were not eligible. That’s because today, PPE is not formally deemed a qualified "medical care" expense under an FSA or HSA by the IRS.
Thankfully, legislators in Washington have responded to those concerns and introduced HR 8450, sponsored by Representative John Curtis (R-UT-3), which would allow for PPE to be FSA/HSA eligible. If passed, this change will last until the end of the year in which the current state of emergency ends. For example, if the public health emergency ends in November 2020, PPE would be eligible until December 31, 2020. If it ends at any time in 2021, 2022, or a later year, it would be eligible through December 31 of that respective year.
To drive support for this legislation and ensure that American families can use their tax-free funds to cover the costs of necessary medical essentials like PPE, Health-E Commerce, the parent brand of e-commerce destinations FSAstore.com and HSAstore.com, has launched an online petition and a new FSA/HSA consumer advocacy site called TaxFreeBetter.com, and is encouraging FSA and HSA users to consider the following actions:
1. Visit the online petition page and add your name, indicating you believe FSA and HSA users should be able to purchase medical necessities like PPE with their tax-free dollars. You can also share this link on your social media pages. 2. Visit TaxFreeBetter.com and use one of the form letters provided to contact your member of Congress to voice your support for PPE eligibility. Simply click "Contact Your Member of Congress" at the bottom of the page and follow the directions provided.
“As consumer and public health needs change, FSA and HSA eligibility needs to be flexible to meet those challenges,” said Rida Wong, president of Health-E Commerce. “We call on Congress to pass HR 8450 to give American families the ability to use their FSA and HSA dollars to cover these much-needed health necessities to protect themselves and those around them.”
To learn more about this legislation or the petition to expand FSA and HSA legislation to include PPE, visit http://www.TaxFreeBetter.com.
Contact: Barbara Tabor / 651.230.9192 / firstname.lastname@example.org
About Health-E Commerce Health-E Commerce is the parent brand of FSAstore.com, HSAstore.com, and WellDeservedHealth.com, a family of brands serving the 70+ million consumers with tax-free health and wellness accounts. Since 2010, Health-E Commerce's brand portfolio has led the direct-to-consumer e-commerce market for tax-free health and wellness benefits and helped partners and everyday Americans benefit better through its 100% eligible product selection and easy-to-understand educational resources. Health-E Commerce plays an essential role in consumer advocacy in the tax-free health space through both advocating for eligibility of important new categories within the IRS-approved list of eligible medical expenses and leading a committee of industry experts to promote the important national conversation around product safety and authenticity.