CHPA leader urges House subcommittee to restore FSA OTC coverage


WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Wednesday testified before a House subcommittee to urge legislators to restore over-the-counter medicines' eligibility under flexible spending accounts.

Speaking on CHPA's behalf was the organization's president and CEO, Scott Melville, who told the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, during its hearing on limitations on the purchase of OTCs with tax-advantaged accounts, that the new law leaves consumers with three options — including scheduling an appointment with a doctor to obtain a prescription that can be submitted for reimbursement under an FSA account; purchase OTCs out of pocket; and to forgo treatment entirely — all of which are not good healthcare policies.

"Access to OTC medicines empowers consumers and allows them to take greater control over their health care and their healthcare spending. So do flexible spending arrangements, or FSAs, which were designed to help Americans afford the portions of healthcare costs not covered by insurance,” Melville said.

During the testimony, Melville cited a a recent study by Booz & Company, which estimated that OTCs provided $102 billion in savings to the nation's healthcare system every year, thanks to reduced doctor visits and drug costs.

Click here to view CHPA's complete written testimony.

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