Pictured: RAISE Health Benefits Act lead sponsor Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) at the AAO’s 2017 Professional Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C

We are excited to share that legislation that the AAO has been advocating for several years — the Responsible Additions and Increases to Sustain Employee (RAISE) Health Benefits Act — took a critical step forward in Congress this week. On July 12, the House Committee on Ways & Means approved a key element of the RAISE Health Benefits Act (H.R. 6313) — the elimination of the “use it or lose it rule,” under which employees forfeit their flexible spending account (FSA) balance at the end of the year. 

If passed, an employee’s hard earned FSA contribution would stay theirs from year to year, for an amount up to three (3) times the annual limit before needing to be spent down.  This would allow individuals and families to save resources that could help them handle current and future medical and orthodontic expenses. This would strongly benefit the approximately 63% of the AAO’s patients who use FSAs to pay for their orthodontic treatment.

We thank the lead sponsors of the RAISE Health Benefits Act, Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), for their long-standing leadership and hard work pushing this legislation forward. The AAO is working with Reps. Stivers and Lujan Grisham to pursue additional refinements to the RAISE Health Benefits Act before it goes to the House floor.

The RAISE Health Benefits Act would not be at this point without the grassroots efforts of AAO members like you — together we have helped secure 50 co-sponsors in the House and Senate.  In fact, just two months ago the AAO held its largest Professional Advocacy Conference to date, with over 150 orthodontists storming the Hill to discuss the AAO’s RAISE Act with Representatives, Senators, and their staff.  

Stay tuned, as we may ask for your help again in the next few weeks engaging your Member of Congress to push the RAISE Health Benefits Act across the finish line in the House.