As America’s leading oral health advocate, the ADA works tirelessly to influence public policies affecting the practice of dentistry and the oral health of the American public.
In Washington, D.C., the ADA lobbies Congress and the Administration—fighting for things that matter to dentists and the patients they serve. The ADA also provides technical support to help state dental societies advance their respective policy agendas.
In a July 10 letter to the House Committee on Ways and Means, ADA President Joseph P. Crowley and Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin urged the committee to increase the flexibility of HSAs and FSAs and preserve the current tax exclusions for employer-provided medical and dental plans.
Health savings accounts are tax-advantaged medical savings accounts that enable individuals to save for medical expenses and also reduce their taxable income. Flexible spending accounts are accounts that allow people to set tax-free dollars aside to pay for certain out-of-pocket health care costs.
The letter was sent in advance of a July 11 hearing for a full committee markup focusing on legislation dealing with HSAs and FSAs.
“ADA supports expansion and increased flexibility of HSAs and FSAs,” wrote Drs. Crowley and O’Loughlin. “Specifically, the Association supports returning the FSA limit to the pre-Affordable Care Act level of $5,000 and its continued indexation to inflation.”
Currently, FSA reimbursement for single coverage is limited to $2,650 for 2018.
Drs. Crowley and O’Loughlin told the committee that the ADA believes “this reduced amount is a step back for consumers who face increasing health care costs. In addition, the ADA is concerned that this limitation adversely impacts the patient’s choices for dental care.”
Drs. Crowley and O’Loughlin concluded by saying the ADA will continue to advocate for reimbursement for certain over-the-counter dental products through FSAs or HSAs.
“Toothpaste, standard and powered toothbrushes, dental floss, interdental cleaners, oral irrigators and preventive and therapeutic mouth rinses are vital to maintaining oral health,” they wrote. “Science continues to demonstrate the relationship between oral health and overall health; therefore, allowing for reimbursement of these products will serve to reduce oral health care costs.”