The bill (S. 3172), which can be found HERE, would amend the Internal Revenue Code to designate certain over-the-counter dietary supplement products and foods for special dietary uses as qualified medical expenses. It has been referred to the Senate’s Finance Committee.
Cramer first introduced a version of the bill in 2021 (that was designated S. 1654).
“Nutritional supplements are preventative care, helping lower health care costs by keeping Americans healthy,” said Senator Cramer in a press release. “By modernizing the rules for savings and spending accounts, my bill would save taxpayer funds, increase consumer choice, and encourage people to invest in their health and wellness.”
The legislation is endorsed by the Natural Products Association (NPA), Swanson Health Products, and the Healthcare Nutrition Council.
“At Swanson Health Products we champion the benefits of the complementary nutrition that vitamins and dietary supplements can offer. We applaud and support Senator Cramer’s initiative to expand US consumers’ access to proactive additions that help people take charge of their health and wellness,” said Jim Hamel, CEO of Fargo-based Swanson Health Products.
“Expanding access to nutritional supplements is an innovative solution aimed at keeping more Americans healthy. For years, Senator Cramer has been a natural product industry champion. Senator Cramer is incentivizing healthy choices and expanding consumer choice by introducing legislation making dietary supplements eligible for reimbursement under Health Savings Accounts, Flexible Spending Arrangements, and Health Reimbursement Arrangements. NPA is grateful for Senator Cramer’s leadership and is excited to continue working with him to expand access to nutritional supplements,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D. President and CEO, Natural Products Association.
On the House side…
Earlier this year, U.S. Representatives Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), John Curtis (R-Utah) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) introduced the Dietary Supplements Access Act (H.R. 4794), which they say will promote Americans' ability to make personal healthcare decisions, support healthy lifestyles by modernizing the availability and coverage of vitamins and minerals, and recognize the valuable role nutritional supplements play in helping to achieve better health outcomes and promote cost savings.
That legislation was the result of five trade associations (American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), Natural Products Association (NPA), and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA)) working together to build a case to show that the Dietary Supplements Access Act encourages good health and is a cost saver.
A joint CRN/CHPA study found nearly 80% of Americans who have FSA or HSA accounts would like to have the flexibility to use those funds to purchase dietary supplements.
NPA's Fabricant told NutraIngredients-USA that the House bill is "still alive and in play.
"The bills are related in the expansion of coverage to dietary supplements, we’re grateful to Senator Cramer for his continued work in this area as we are to the House members advancing their bill. Getting support on both sides of the Capitol for the idea that supplements are critical to health, wellness and prevention and should be treated the same as other reimbursable healthcare costs is essential for our futures," he said.