U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), and U.S. Representatives Steve Stivers (Ohio) and Vicente Gonzalez (Texas) have reintroduced the Responsible Additions and Increases to Sustain Employee Health Benefits Act (the RAISE Act). The legislation, long supported by the AAO, increases the annual cap on contributions to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).
Many U.S. families use FSAs to help cover out-of-pocket health-related costs, including orthodontic treatment. Under the Affordable Care Act a cap was imposed on annual contributions to FSA accounts, which is now $2,700. The 2019 RAISE Act will nearly double the amount of money a family can contribute annually, increasing the annual limit on employee salary reduction contributions to $5,000.
Rep. Stivers’ press release on the RAISE Act notes the AAO’s endorsement of the legislation and quotes Dr. Brent Larson, AAO president, as saying:
“The American Association of Orthodontists applauds Representatives Steve Stivers and Vicente Gonzalez for reintroducing the RAISE Act on a bipartisan basis. Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are a critical tool for individuals of all incomes, and are used by approximately 63 percent of AAO members’ patients for their orthodontic services. Current limitations on FSAs — including an arbitrary $2,700 contribution cap that is well below most families’ out-of-pocket healthcare spending, and limitations on rolling over funds — prevent families from maximizing these accounts.
“The AAO supports the RAISE Act, which would raise the contribution cap to $5,000, and allow families with more than two dependents to contribute an additional $500 per additional dependent. The RAISE Act would also eliminate the “use it or lose it rule,” allowing families to save for planned or long-term medical needs. The over 9,000 U.S. members of the AAO are encouraged that elements of the RAISE Act passed the House last summer, and we strongly encourage the 116th Congress to finish the job and give consumers greater control of their family’s healthcare spending.”
The AAO helped draft the original version of the RAISE Act and has supported previous versions of the bill as they were introduced in Congress in recent years, with strong bi-partisan support.
View Rep. Stivers’ Press Release
ADA Also Reports on RAISE Act Effort
Dr. Larson is also quoted in an American Dental Association report on efforts to secure passage of the RAISE Act by the Organized Dentistry Coalition, led by the AAO and including the ADA and other dental organizations.