Health savings account (HSA) contribution limits will significantly increase in 2023 and will likely continue to rise in the near future. On April 29, the IRS announced that it would drastically increase contribution limits. The announcement was made in response to the recent surge in inflation, and provides employers sponsoring high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) sufficient preparation time before the approaching open enrollment season.
With the annual inflation-adjusted limit, the maximum contribution limit for a family HSA is now $7,750, up from $7300. This is an increase of 5.5 percent from 2022’s limit, where the increase for the previous year was a mere 1.4 percent. Self-only coverage HSA contributions will increase from $3,650 to $3,850 in 2023.
The IRS verified the projected 2023 HSA contribution limits and the maximum out-of-pocket expenses and minimum deductibles for the paired HDHPs in the Revenue Procedure 2022-24.
2023 Increase Is a “Significant Jump” Over Previous Years
As more employers weigh the benefits of making income-based contributions, the number interested in matching the HSA contributions of their employees has grown. Although this practice is similar to the those used to match 401(k) retirement plans, it is particularly beneficial to lower-paid employees who might require additional help with health care expenses under high-deductible plans.
HSA Bank’s Chief revenue officer, Kevin Robertson, claims the 2023 higher limits are “a significant jump” from previous annual increases. As employer contributions generally spur employees to assign a higher value to their health care benefit packages, he believes news of the increase can be used for a few purposes.
- Employers can use the open enrollment season to encourage employee contributions.
- Employers may be persuaded to contribute to HSAs where they had not previously.
- Employees may raise their rate of contribution or begin contributing to their personal or family accounts.
Even with small amounts, employer contributions add up and promote a more collaborative approach to the employee accounts and the perceived value of those accounts.
Inflation Results in Contribution Limit Adjustments
Generally, October heralds announcements regarding various tax-advantaged accounts’ contribution limits for the following year. Those concerning HSAs, however, are announced in late April or May.
Although the adjusted contribution amount is regulated by statute, the limits are adjusted annually for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. They use data compiled from the 12 months ending on March 31 and round to the nearest $50 to arrive at the precise amount.
The Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC) represents the sponsors of various account-based benefits plans. Legislative and technical director of ECFC, William Sweetnam, explains that limit increases for HDHP and HSA are:
“released much earlier than other employee benefit limits so that insurance companies that offer high-deductible health plans—which participants must be enrolled in to make HSA contributions—can get their insurance products approved by state insurance regulators.”
Differing Limits for ACA
Based on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is more than one set of health plan out-of-pocket expenses annually determined by federal agencies. This can cause considerable confusion for the administrators of the plans.
Under an ACA-compliant plan, annual cost-sharing limits for basic health benefits are established by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These out-of-pocket limits are higher than the maximum limits set by the IRS. For a plan to qualify as an HSA-compatible HDHP, however, they can not exceed the out-of-pocket maximum limit of the IRS.
Regardless of whether a person is enrolled in a family or self-only plan, the ACA’s cost-sharing limits apply to every person in a non-grandfathered health plan.
Maximum Limit for Excepted-Benefit HRAs
Additionally, Revenue Procedure 2022-24 raises the employer contribution maximum amount to an excepted-benefit health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) for year 2023. Excepted-benefit HRAs are restricted to paying only for dental and vision or comparable benefits that the employer’s primary plan doesn’t pay and are also not covered by the ACA. The HRA for 2023 is raised $150 higher from the 2022 amount of $1,800 to $1,950.
The Announcement Allows Employers to Plan Ahead
Sweetnam claims that, since employers often discuss health care choices and limits during the open enrollment season, the limits for 2023 are “good to know.” To plan ahead, employers should consider updating payroll to mitigate the coming year’s cost-of-living adjustments and incorporate the announced HSA limits.