Newly Introduced Bill Would Repeal Limits on FSAs, HSAs

February 11, 2011 ( - U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) has introduced The Patients’ Freedom to Choose Act, a bill that would repeal two provisions in the health care reform law placing limits on consumer-directed health savings plans.

The measure repeals the cap on $2,500 cap on Flexible Spending Account (FSA) contributions, and repeals the provision that requires patients using Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or FSAs to have a prescription from their doctor before they purchase over-the-counter medication.  

According to a Hutchison news release, U.S. Representative  Erik Paulsen (R- Minnesota) has introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.  

On January 1, 2011, a provision in the health care law took effect prohibiting individuals from using funds from either HSAs or FSAs to purchase over-the-counter medication unless they have a prescription from their doctor. In addition, starting in 2013, the health reform law institutes a $2,500 federal cap for all FSA contributions.  

The bill is cosponsored by Senators Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), Susan Collins (R-Maine), James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), James Risch (R-Idaho), and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi).