IRS Reverses HSA Family Contribution Limits – Again!

In March, due to the new inflation-adjustment calculations required under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill Act, the IRS announced in revenue ruling 2018-27 that the previously released (in May 2017) $6,900 family contribution limit would be reduced to $6,850. Since excess contributions are subject to a 6% excise tax, many employers and individuals who front-loaded their HSA contributions in January were now looking at a penalty for overfunding their HSA for 2018, as well as income tax due on the excess. The IRS received enough complaints from stakeholders asserting that implementing the $50 reduction to the limitation would impose numerous unanticipated administrative and financial burdens that they have actually reversed their decision and will go back to the $6,900 family contribution limit for 2018. The revised inflation-adjustment calculation established under the Tax bill has been put on hold until 2019.

What’s Hot and What’s Not

self-fundingThe new year is a good time to look at the benefits larger companies are using to attract and retain good people. According to their 2017 Employee Benefits report, the Society for Human Resource Management tells us that HSAs, wholesale generic drug programs for injectable drugs, standing desks and genetic testing for chronic diseases are becoming popular. The report shows that 55% of businesses allow those with high deductible health plans to put part of their pay into an HSA tax free. This is up from 42% just a few years ago. 36% of employers now also contribute to workers’ HSAs. The percentage of employers covering genetic testing rose from 12% to 18% in just one year.

“Not so much” would describe dwindling interest in medical FSAs, long-term care insurance, mental health coverage and use of personal or life coaching. In other trends, daily casual dress has become the norm at 44% of surveyed companies and nearly 60% of companies now allow telecommuting.

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Rapid Growth for HSAs

HSAHealth savings accounts are hot, with nearly two-thirds of respondents to a Plan Sponsor Council of America survey saying they believe that even those without a high deductible health plan should qualify. A benefit often cited by employers and employees alike is that HSAs can be a valuable part of one’s retirement strategy, since healthcare expenses are viewed as one of the largest people face in retirement.

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IRS Adjusts HSA Limits for 2018

The IRS has released the inflation-adjusted contribution and related amounts for health savings accounts (HSAs) and HSA-compatible high-deductible health plans, or HDHPs, for 2018. These limits are tied to changes in the Consumer Price Index by application of the cost-of-living adjustment rules. The limits for 2018 are set forth below.

2018 HSA Limits

Annual HSA Contribution Maximum: $3,450 for single coverage ($50 increase from $3,400)
$6,900 for family coverage ($150 increase from $6,750)
Annual Catch-Up Contribution Maximum: $1,000 (for HSA-eligible individuals age 55 or older) – no change
HDHP Minimum Deductible: $1,350 for single coverage ($50 increase from $1,300)
$2,700 for family coverage ($100 increase from $2,600)
HDHP Out-of-Pocket Maximum: $6,650 for single coverage ($100 increase from $6,550)
$13,300 for family coverage ($200 increase from $13,100)

Not Legal Advice: Nothing in this Alert should be construed as legal advice.