Opinion Pieces

Making Flexible Spending Accounts, Actually Flexible

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Washington, August 2, 2018 | comments
As a father, I know firsthand that families need flexibility in many aspects of life.
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As a father, I know firsthand that families need flexibility in many aspects of life.

When it comes to healthcare, families need this flexibility so they can save for medical expenses, such as copayments, prescription drugs, medical supplies, orthodontic work, or vision and dental work. For many, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are relied on for these expenses. However, in 2010, Obamacare created an annual cap for FSA contributions of $2,650 – a cap that is far too low considering the average American worker pays $5,714 per year towards the cost of their health coverage, according to a 2017 Kaiser Family Foundation survey.

Moreover, under the current law, families with left-over funds in their FSA are asked to forfeit those dollars at the end of each year, forcing Americans to “use it or lose it” regardless if they’ve saved enough for their unique expenses. For a family of four with children needing braces, updating prescription glasses, or facing the unexpected medical emergency, the current policy is making it nearly impossible for families to cover these costs. Since I came to Congress, I have worked to find a solution to give families the ability to save for healthcare costs.  

Recently, I was excited that bipartisan provisions from legislation I introduced, known as the Responsible Additions and Increases to Sustain Employee (RAISE) Health Benefits Act, was included in a larger healthcare package passed in a bipartisan vote by the House of Representatives. My provisions will do two simple things to help families: eliminate the “use it or lose it” policy to allow families to roll over all unused funds in their FSAs into the next year, and increase the overall cap on FSAs to $7,950 – triple the current limitation. These two provisions will make Flexible Spending Accounts actually flexible so families can plan for healthcare expenses and save more money.

I am proud to have worked on this legislation, and will continue working to ensure it is passed into law. Moving forward, I am committed to finding more solutions to help American families with the cost of healthcare.

If you have any questions on legislation to help families with healthcare costs, or any other issue facing the federal government, I invite you to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015, Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968, Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049 or Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654.

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