Does FSA cover dental discount plans?

Dental procedures are so damn expensive, and my work insurance does not cover dentla procedures. I’ve saved a decent amount of money on dental costs using dental discount plans so I want to sign up for a program again.

I was wondering a couple of things:

First, can I use my FSA account to pay for the discount plan?

Related, but aside, I’ve heard that the ACA considers dental coverage for kids under 18 to be “Essential”. Implying that insurance companies need to offer such coverage. Work hasn’t mentioned anything about this to me, so what does this actually mean for me?

I used to work in benefits and I am going to say no with the qualification that I may be wrong because I have never heard this question asked or answered before.

Here is a link with a number you can call to get the answer straight from the IRS.

You will notice in the link that insurance premiums are specifically excluded from FSA reimbursement and I believe that discount plans fall under the same general reasoning. FSA eligible expenses are typically limited to direct medical, dental related goods and services but not things only indirectly related like discount plans.

You can also call your FSA plan administrator (e.g., Aetna). Those plans can be complicated so it is best to know how the FSA administrator will handle it in advance.

It looks like you are correct about the dental coverage requirement for children under 18 although I have personally heard little discussion of it in general. Employers have to make dental plans available for kids (but not adults) if they want to be compliant but those plans don’t have to cover all that much and can have low limits ($700 a year for a single child or $1400 for a family). Many people may do better financially by skipping it altogether and paying for routine dental care out of pocket.

The details are a little complicated though and I am sure that many employers don’t even realize that requirement exists. Here is the summary of it:

If your company hasn’t made such coverage available, it might be time for a nice heads-up to whoever is in charge of your benefits.

Thanks Shagnasty!

Gonna talk to HR at work, depending on the cost, it might be worthwhile, at least in the future. So far, little guy hans’t put up too much of a fight when told it’s time to brush teeth. Sometimes though, he takes off like a rocket.

I’m a human resources professional and oversee benefits at my location. Yes, you can use FSA funds to cover dental expenses for a dependent, with certain exceptions.

Here is the pertinent paragraph on included dental expenses from Health

*Dental Treatment

You can include in medical expenses the amounts you pay for the prevention and alleviation of dental disease. Preventive treatment includes the services of a dental hygienist or dentist for such procedures as teeth cleaning, the application of sealants, and fluoride treatments to prevent tooth decay. Treatment to alleviate dental disease include services of a dentist for procedures such as X-rays, fillings, braces, extractions, dentures, and other dental ailments. But see Teeth Whitening under What Expenses Are Not Includible, later.*

Just to be absolutely certain your employer’s plan doesn’t have other exceptions, you should ask your HR rep.