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Rep. Porter Introduces Bill to Support Homecare Needs for Older Americans

Congresswoman’s bipartisan legislation would allow older Americans to use health savings accounts for homecare needs

Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) introduced a bipartisan bill with Democratic Rep. John Larson (CT-1) and Republican Reps. Adrian Smith (NE-3) and Jackie Walorski (IN-2) to support older Americans living in their homes. This legislation would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow tax-free distributions from health savings accounts (HSAs) to cover qualified home care services.

“I’ve heard from older constituents in California’s 45th Congressional District about the importance of staying in their own homes while receiving care,” Congresswoman Porter said. “I’m proud to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle on this legislation that would allow older Americans the freedom to put more of their own money into homecare.”

An HSA allows individuals to set aside pre-tax money to pay for medical expenses. Many seniors who have paid into HSAs for years are unable to use these funds for qualified homecare expenses under current law; Congresswoman Porter’s bill would change that. Qualified home care provides seniors with services including assistance with eating, assistance with toileting, assistance with bathing, assistance with dressing, and assistance with continence or medication adherence.

“Seniors should be able to age with dignity and stay in their homes as long as possible. Allowing Americans to use their own savings in Health Savings Accounts to pay for home health care is a common sense way to make this a more accessible option for Americans. I am proud to introduce this bill with Congresswoman Porter today,” said Congressman Larson.

“Folks who have paid into Health Savings Accounts their whole lives should be given flexibility to spend their own money on their needs. For many seniors, the ability to stay in their own homes while receiving care is of the utmost importance and can help save on health care costs in the long term” said Congressman Smith. “I am glad to be a cosponsor of this commonsense legislation which puts seniors first.”

“Seniors who face health challenges but want to continue living at home often rely on at-home care services like assistance with eating, bathing, or taking their medications. These services play a critical role in helping older Americans live healthier, more independent lives,” said Congresswoman Walorski. “The bipartisan Homecare for Seniors Act will help seniors access the care they need by allowing them to use HSA funds for at-home health care services.”

Calvin McDaniel, Director of Government Affairs for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice explained, “With health care costs ever growing, the home is the ideal and most efficient setting for seniors in need of assistance with activities of daily living. Relaxing restrictions on distributions of health savings account funds is a simple way to open up access to these services.”

The legislation is supported by the Homecare Association of America, Home Instead, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, Leading Age, the National Alliance for Caregiving, the Alzheimer’s Foundation, the International Franchise Association, and the Caregiver Action Network.