The central provisions of the Affordable Care Act require younger and healthier Americans to buy insurance policies that will, in essence, subsidize the healthcare of older and sicker Americans. But one of Obamacare’s hidden taxes — a new limit on contributions to health flexible spending accounts, or FSAs — will hit older and chronically ill individuals hardest.
Starting this year, the healthcare law imposes a $2,500 annual cap on an individual’s contribution to an FSA that is part of an employer’s “cafeteria” benefits plan. Such contributions, diverted directly from one’s paycheck, are not subject to federal income and payroll taxes. The money in an FSA can then be used to pay for qualified medical expenses such as deductibles, co-insurance and co-payments, as well as services not covered by insurance.