Buchanan’s bill aims to lower costs associated with senior care

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) on Feb. 5 sponsored a bipartisan bill that would lower costs for caregivers by allowing them to use tax-free health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts on medical expenses for their parents.

“As millions of Americans learn every year, caring for aging parents or loved ones in their later years can become a significant financial strain for you and your family,” Rep. Buchanan said. “With nearly 200,000 seniors in my district, caregiving assistance is critical for many families to give their loved ones a dignified quality of life in their golden years.”

The Lowering Costs for Caregivers Act, H.R. 7222, which is cosponsored by U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow expenses for parents to be taken into account as medical expenses, according to the congressional record bill summary. 

Currently, caregivers are unable to take advantage of tax-free accounts unless their parents are classified as dependents for tax purposes, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Buchanan’s staff.

“Taking care of aging parents is a significant cost for millions of Americans and can too often place a tremendous financial burden on those responsible for the care,” said Rep. Thompson. “Allowing Americans to use their HSAs to pay for caregiving for their parents is a common-sense step that will make this care more affordable.”

H.R. 7222, which is companion legislation to the same-named S. 3254 introduced on Nov. 8, 2023, by U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Jackie Rosen (D-NV), is supported by AARP and Fidelity Investments.