For some good news, the Department of Health and Human Services published a new rule yesterday expanding the use of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) to now include out-of-pocket dental expenses.
Unlike health savings accounts, which employees contribute to themselves on a pretax basis, a health reimbursement agreement involves the employer providing for extra cost coverage by contributing to a medical expense account on a pretax basis to help cover out-of-pocket costs. An additional benefit is that it is not counted towards the employee’s income.
Employers typically providing medical group plans to employees are now free to offer an HSA and contribute up to $1,800 per year for qualified medical expenses that includes medical, dental, vision and long-term care insurance.
As this is a new rule, which will take some time for employers to implement), it is something every patient in every office should be made aware of as they may have this benefit and not even realize it.
This is a right step forward in making dental care more accessible to a larger population.