Reps. Sewell, Wenstrup Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Access to Employer-Provided Worksite Health Clinics
April 8, 2022
Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, U.S. Reps. Terri Sewell (AL-07) and Brad Wenstrup (OH-02) introduced H.R. 7487, the Employee Access to Worksite Health Services Act. This bipartisan bill would protect employees’ access to health care at their workplace health center by correcting a provision of the tax code that currently disincentivizes employers from offering worksite health clinics.
“Workers in Alabama and across this nation rely on their employer’s worksite health clinics to access critical health care services. These clinics make our communities healthier and offer countless benefits to companies and the workers they employ,” said Rep. Sewell.“We must ensure that our tax code rewards—not penalizes—employers for making these clinics available at the workplace. The Employee Access to Worksite Health Services Act is a commonsense bill that does just that. I’m proud to partner with Congressman Brad Wenstrup to introduce this bill and urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to give it their full support.”
“Our communities here in Ohio and across the country rely on worksite health clinics to provide valuable resources which keep people healthier longer by providing interventions and preventative healthcare," said Rep. Wenstrup, lead Republican sponsor. "Our tax system currently disincentivizes employers from offering worksite health clinics, and this bill corrects that. I'm happy to work with Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Congressman Mike Kelly, and Congressman Earl Blumenauer on this important legislation and I hope my colleagues will do the same; let's keep America's employees healthy."
Offered by many large employers and state and local governments, worksite health clinics play a critical role in the health and well-being of employees across the nation, particularly those who face barriers to accessing care. In 2021, more than 60 percent of large companies offered worksite health clinics which provide preventive and primary care, wellness services, and care for those with chronic conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic only further clarified the essential nature of these clinics which offer COVID-19 testing, administer vaccines, manage return to work programs, and deploy telehealth services to monitor and treat employees remotely.
Unfortunately, a provision of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) currently disincentivizes employers from offering worksite health clinics. Under IRC Section 223, employees are prohibited from contributing pre-tax dollars to a Health Savings Account (HSA) if they also receive certain supplemental health benefits—like those provided at a worksite health clinic—at no cost or under fair market value. As a result, employers are forced to limit the scope of services offered to HSA enrollees or deny them access enjoyed by other employees and their family members. These limited options dissuade employers from offering worksite health clinics because it diminishes the health impact for their employee population and forces disparate treatment among employees.
The Employee Access to Worksite Health Services Act would amend IRC Section 223 to clarify that accessing services provided through a worksite health clinic does not render an individual ineligible to make pretax contributions to their HSA. The bill would also broadly categorize the services worksite health clinics can provide to ensure compliance with IRS HSA requirements.
H.R. 7487 is cosponsored by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and Mike Kelly (PA-16). The bill can be found here.