Dietary supplements to become qualified medical expenses under LaHood bill

A bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL) on Wednesday would make it easier for Americans to pay for nutritional and dietary supplements to support their health.

The vast majority of Americans use vitamins and supplements as part of their preventative healthcare, such as to address nutrient deficiencies or to strengthen bones, but the current tax code does not allow individuals with health-related savings accounts to be reimbursed for the out-of-pocket expenses they pay for those supplements.

“As we work to climb out of the pandemic, ensuring my constituents have the resources they need to support opportunities for a healthy lifestyle, including the purchasing of vitamins and minerals, is important,” Rep. LaHood said.

The congressman introduced the Dietary Supplement Tax Fairness Act, H.R. 5747, with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA), to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to include certain over-the-counter dietary supplement products as qualified medical expenses, according to the text of the bill. The legislation would allow individuals to be reimbursed from their Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), their Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), or their Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) for the out-of-pocket expenses they pay for nutritional and dietary supplements.

More than 22 million individuals have chosen to enroll in an HSA coupled with a consumer-direct health plan, noted Rep. Boyle.

“As enrollment in HSAs continues to grow, our bill would remove unnecessary barriers to better meet the needs of consumers,” Rep. LaHood said.

The lawmakers noted how nutritional supplements not only play a role in achieving better health outcomes but also promote cost savings to employers and consumers.

Rep. LaHood and Rep. Boyle are members of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, which will consider H.R. 5747.