Palmer introduces bill to protect 2020 FSA funds

FROM STAFF REPORTS 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the United States continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans risk losing the hard-earned dollars they’ve contributed to a Flexible Spending Account (FSA).

Typically, FSA money must be used by the end of a calendar year, but due to widespread closures of healthcare and childcare facilities during recent shelter-in-place orders, many individuals might have to forfeit unused 2020 funds. Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-06) has previously expressed his concerns on this issue via a letter with bipartisan support to House and Senate leadership. Thursday, June 11 he introduced H.R. 7149, which would move to protect those with leftover 2020 FSA funds.

“Many people plan ahead with FSAs, and they shouldn’t be penalized for being proactive due to extraordinary circumstances,” Palmer said. “My bill offers temporary protection for those who have been unable to use their 2020 FSA funds due to compliance with recent stay-at-home orders, and I’m grateful for the support it’s already received. Planning ahead should never be punished, and I hope the measures in H.R. 7149 Act help many people to continue doing just that as we adjust and plan for life beyond this unprecedented period for our country.”

The bill provides protection for 2020 FSA funds by allowing individuals to: 1) roll over their FSA balance to 2021, 2) withdraw their balance without penalty, 3) change their election amount or 4) to continue using unspent funds through the end of the year in the event of job loss.