Expanding Health Savings Accounts, Health Reimbursement Accounts, and Flexible Spending Accounts Will Help Underserved Communities and Promote Long-Term Health
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Legislation introduced today (H.R. 5214) in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) would expand health savings accounts (HSA), health reimbursement arrangements and flexible spending accounts (FSA) to cover dietary supplements. The legislation mirrors a bill (S. 1654) introduced in the U.S. Senate this spring by Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND). The Natural Products Association (NPA) and it’s grassroots network has been leading the effort to expand access to nutritional supplements for underserved communities through programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
Experts in the U.S. and around the world have also urged policymakers to consider the benefits of vitamin D supplements to help support immune systems and prevent serious illnesses.
“Expanding access to supplements benefits everyone,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., President and CEO of NPA. “It is clear that we are not out of this pandemic yet, and this common sense solution. We urge our members to contact their elected officials in Washington and let them know how important expanding access to dietary supplements is to the health of their constituents. We would also like to thank Reps. Curtis and Gottheimer and their staffs for their support and wanting to expand choices for hundreds of millions of Americans who use supplements to stay healthy in this challenging time.”
Nutritional supplements play an important role in supporting the health of millions of people in the United States and around the world, especially those who are from areas without adequate access to nutritious foods:
- Zinc deficiency can compromise immune function and increase the risk of infection, affecting an estimated 30% of the global population.
- A World Health Organization (WHO) report specifically zinc supplementation and immunity respiratory viruses in children.
- According to available data, 95 percent of adults and 98 percent of teens have an inadequate vitamin D intake and 61 percent of adults and 90 percent of teens do not get enough magnesium.
- More than 23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in food deserts – areas that are more than a mile away from a supermarket.