The flexible spending account has been around for decades, but thanks to the Affordable Care Act, this familiar account-based benefit plan is quickly becoming more important than ever when it comes to helping employers engage consumers and control rising health care costs.

Let's start by touching briefly on the ACA. The first thing to keep in mind is that health care reform is something of a misnomer. Health insurance reform is actually closer to reality. Put simply, the ACA requires health insurance to cover more stuff. Because the ACA is also required to save money, the law had to demonstrate cost savings as measured using Congressional Budget Office budgeting timelines and methodologies.

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