Health FSA Limit Changes in Stack of Reform Measure Consideration

September 22, 2009 ( - Members of the U.S. Senate's Finance Committee continue to plough their way through 564 amendments to a proposed health-care reform measure, including one that would raise the contribution limits for flexible spending accounts (FSA).

A BNA news report said one proposal would cap the amount of annual tax-free contributions to health-care flexible spending accounts at $2,000 and add a prohibition against using FSA funds for over-the-counter drugs.

Finance Committee members filed about a dozen amendments to modify the plan, largely seeking to increase the limit or strike the cap altogether, BNA said. Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) has the only Democratic amendment on the topic, to increase the contribution limit to $3,000, with Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) having similar amendments, and Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) seeking to increase the cap to $5,000.

BNA said Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) also filed an amendment that would exclude FSAs from the aggregate amount of health insurance for the purpose of the tax on high-value policies.

The committee was scheduled to begin its formal consideration of the bill Tuesday (see  U.S. Senate Finance Committee Presents Health Care Bill ), and the markup is expected to last at least three days.

A list of the amendments is available  here .