With costs rising and benefit plans on the hot seat, brokers and agents need new strategies to deal with a secondary, but still very important, form of coverage: dental and vision insurance.

At AmeriFlex, we've been talking for more than a year now about health reimbursement accounts and how they play a pivotal role in the consumer-driven benefits spectrum. Using a health reimbursement arrangement plan design alongside a high-deductible health plan lets an employer reduce premiums without significantly impacting an employee's out-of-pocket expense.

The true benefit of an HRA is its flexibility. With an HRA an employer can define exactly what types of expenses the account can pay for. While HRAs can cover any item under section 213(d), in most cases, plan administrators limit eligibility to deductible-related expenses only. In other words, they do not set it up to cover OTC, dental, or vision. This gives the employers greater control over fund expenditures and lowers the potential liability.

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