Good News: Obamacare To Raise Cost Of Your Kids’ Braces

That’s right, another “unintended consequence”

(WSJ) Here’s something your orthodontist is not smiling about: a new tax rule raised the cost of braces this year.

Thanks to a change from the Affordable Care Act that places an annual $2,500 contribution cap on flexible spending accounts, which let workers set aside pre-tax dollars to cover medical expenses, some consumers may be spending more on braces, expensive eyewear and other medical supplies they would typically buy with the accounts. Before the new rule, there was no official cap on how much taxpayers could stash into the account, though many companies typically set their own limits of $5,000. For a person in the 25% tax bracket, the cap cuts the maximum tax break in half to $625 from $1,250.

For families who relied on the accounts to help them cover the costs of pricey medical services like braces, the cap indirectly raises their costs, says Gayle Glenn, president of the American Association of Orthodontists, which along with some other medical groups is calling for the cap to be eliminated. About 65% of the roughly 17,000 orthodontists surveyed by the association in 2009 said their patients used FSAs to pay for treatment. And with the cost of braces ranging from $5,000 to $7,000, many families likely max out their FSA contributions to pay for them, says Glenn, whose association recently circulated a letter for orthodontists to publish in their local newspapers, encouraging people to write to Congress to challenge the cap. “We want people to be aware,” says Glenn.

I had been aware of the cap on health savings accounts ($2500), but did not know about the FSA restrictions (articles on the difference here and here). And Obamacare is messing both up. Thanks, Democrats!

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3 Responses to “Good News: Obamacare To Raise Cost Of Your Kids’ Braces”

  1. gitarcarver says:

    Obviously you are confused Teach.

    This is a great piece of legislation.

    The fact that you can’t keep your doctor, you can’t keep your plan, your premiums are going up, your out of pocket expenses are going up and you have lost choices in the marketplace is a good thing.

    Get with the program, dude.

  2. Why do I picture people showing up at my door with lobotomy marks monotoning about the benefits of Obamacare?

  3. Gumballs_Of_Winter says:

    Cuz they do that on tv already, Teach.

    DOn’t forget, ObamaCare has already changed what you can pay with FSAs. We used to be able to buy bandaids, OTC meds, most health related items. Now, you need a prescription to get FSA to pay for aspirin or tylenol.

    How stupid is that.

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