Yesterday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the 2018 annual contribution limit to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for persons with family coverage under a qualifying High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) is restored to $6,900. The single-coverage limit of $3,450 is not affected.
This is the final word on what has been an unusual back-and-forth saga. The 2018 family limit of $6,900 had been announced in May 2017. Following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, however, the IRS was required to modify the methodology used in determining annual inflation-adjusted benefit limits. On March 5, 2018, the IRS announced the 2018 family limit was reduced by $50, retroactively, from $6,900 to $6,850. Since the 2018 tax year was already in progress, this small change was going to require HSA trustees and recordkeepers to implement not-so-small fixes to their systems. The IRS has listened to appeals from the industry, and now is providing relief by reinstating the original 2018 family limit of $6,900.
Employers that offer HSAs to their workers will receive information from their HSA administrator or trustee regarding any updates needed in their payroll files, systems, and employee communications. Note that some administrators had held off making changes after the IRS announcement in March, with the hopes that the IRS would change its position and restore the original limit. So employers will need to consider their specific case with their administrator to determine what steps are needed now.
An HSA is a tax-exempt savings account employees can use to pay for qualified health expenses. To be eligible to contribute to an HSA, an employee:
- Must be covered by a qualified high deductible health plan (HDHP);
- Must not have any disqualifying health coverage (called “impermissible non-HDHP coverage”);
- Must not be enrolled in Medicare; and
- May not be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return.
HSA 2018 Limits
Limits apply to HSAs based on whether an individual has self-only or family coverage under the qualifying HDHP.
2018 HSA contribution limit:
- Single: $3,450
- Family: $6,900
- Catch-up contributions for those age 55 and older remains at $1,000
2018 HDHP minimum deductible (not applicable to preventive services):
- Single: $1,350
- Family: $2,700
2018 HDHP maximum out-of-pocket limit:
- Single: $6,650
- Family: $13,300*
*If the HDHP is a nongrandfathered plan, a per-person limit of $7,350 also will apply due to the ACA’s cost-sharing provision for essential health benefits.
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