NEW YORK, March 31, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- 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 individuals and families use every day. But during the current public health crisis, consumers were shocked to find that the very products recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as protection against the spread of COVID-19 were not widely eligible for purchase with FSA or HSA funds. That changed on March 26, 2021, when the IRS released Announcement 2021-7 that now makes masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes that help prevent the spread of COVID-19 fully eligible for FSA/HSA reimbursement.
"For more than a year, Health-E Commerce has advocated for the expansion of FSAs and HSAs to allow account holders to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and other virus preparedness items with funds they set aside expressly for their health needs," said Rida Wong, President of Health-E Commerce. "We are extremely thankful to the IRS for taking this proactive step for FSA/HSA users to help protect themselves and their families during this public health crisis and beyond."
The Health-E Commerce family of brands has been eagerly anticipating this change and is already working to update its inventory to serve the needs of millions of tax-free healthcare consumers nationwide. The company will roll out its full selection of PPE and expanded virus preparedness products in the coming weeks to help FSA and HSA users utilize every avenue to protect themselves and their loved ones now and into the future.
FSA/HSA Eligibility of Masks, Hand Sanitizer and Sanitary Wipes
Announcement 2021-7 is the culmination of a year-long campaign for consumer healthcare advocates on Capitol Hill to correct this gap in FSA/HSA product eligibility. In October 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced H.R. 8450, sponsored by Representative John Curtis (R-UT-3), which would have allowed for PPE to be FSA/HSA eligible until the end of the year in which the current state of emergency ends. That bill did not pass. With the seating of a new Congress, in February 2021 Representatives John Curtis (R-UT), Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA), and Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) introduced the Protecting Individuals and Families Act, (H.R. 373), which featured similar provisions to those introduced in Announcement 2021-7.
The new IRS guidance includes a series of provisions that will make it easier for account holders and employers to quickly take advantage of this change:
- The change can be made retroactive to January 1, 2020 if an employer chooses to amend their FSA to allow it.
- This change, unlike previous bills introduced by Congress, is not tied to a state of emergency and would be a permanent change to eligibility.
- FSA holders should check with their HR department of benefits provider to make sure that these expenses will be eligible with their plan.
Contact: Barbara Tabor / 651.230.9192 / [email protected]
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.
Barbara Tabor, Tabor PR, 651-230-9192, [email protected]
SOURCE Health-E Commerce