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Compliance Alert: IRS Releases 2021 HSA Contribution Limits and HDHP Deductible and Out-of-Pocket Limits

May 28, 2020

Employee Benefits

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In Rev. Proc. 2020-32, the IRS released the inflation adjusted amounts for 2020 relevant to HSAs and high deductible health plans (HDHPs). The table below summarizes those adjustments and other applicable limits.

20212020Change
Annual HSA Contribution Limit

(employer and employee)

Self-only: $3,600 Family: $7,200Self-only: $3,550 Family: $7,100Self-only: +$50 Family: +$100
HSA catch-up contributions

(age 55 or older)

$1,000$1,000No change
Minimum Annual HDHP DeductibleSelf-only: $1,400 Family: $2,800Self-only: $1,400 Family: $2,800No change
Maximum Out-of-Pocket for HDHP

(deductibles, co-payment & other amounts except premiums)

Self-only: $7,000 Family: $14,000Self-only: $6,900 Family: $13,800Self-only: +$100 Family: +$200

Out-of-Pocket Limits Applicable to Non-Grandfathered Plans

The ACA’s out-of-pocket limits for in-network essential health benefits have also been announced and have increased for 2021.

20212020Change
ACA Maximum Out-of-Pocket 

Self-only: $8,550

Family: $17,100

Self-only: $8,150

Family: $16,300

Self-only: +$400

Family: +$800

Note that all non-grandfathered group health plans must contain an embedded individual out-of-pocket limit within family coverage, if the family out-of-pocket limit is above $8,550 (2021 plan years) or $8,150 (2020 plan years). Exceptions to the ACA’s out-of-pocket limit rule are available for certain small group plans eligible for transition relief (referred to as “Grandmothered” plans). A one-year extension of transition relief was announced on January 31, extending the transition relief to policy years beginning on or before October 1, 2021, provided that all policies end by December 31, 2022. (This transition relief has been extended each year since the initial announcement on November 14, 2013.)

Next Steps for Employers

As employers prepare for the 2021 plan year, they should keep in mind the following rules and ensure that any plan materials and participant communications reflect the new limits:

  • HDHPs cannot have an embedded family deductible that is lower than the minimum HDHP family deductible of $2,800.
  • The out-of-pocket maximum for family coverage for an HDHP cannot be higher than $14,000.
  • All non-grandfathered plans (whether HDHP or non-HDHP) must cap out-of-pocket spending at $8,550 for any covered person. A family plan with an out-of-pocket maximum in excess of $8,550 can satisfy this rule by embedding an individual out-of-pocket maximum in the plan that is no higher than $8,550. This means that for the 2021 plan year, an HDHP subject to the ACA out-of-pocket limit rules may have a $7,000 (self-only)/$14,000 (family) out-of-pocket limit (and be HSA-compliant) so long as there is an embedded individual out-of-pocket limit in the family tier no greater than $8,550 (so that it is also ACA-compliant).

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This alert was prepared for Woodruff Sawyer by Marathas Barrow Weatherhead Lent LLP, a national law firm with recognized experts on the Affordable Care Act. Contact Stacy Barrow or Nicole Quinn-Gato at sbarrow@marbarlaw.com or nquinngato@marbarlaw.com

The information provided in this alert is not, is not intended to be, and shall not be construed to be, either the provision of legal advice or an offer to provide legal services, nor does it necessarily reflect the opinions of the agency, our lawyers or our clients. This is not legal advice. No client-lawyer relationship between you and our lawyers is or may be created by your use of this information. Rather, the content is intended as a general overview of the subject matter covered. This agency and Marathas Barrow Weatherhead Lent LLP are not obligated to provide updates on the information presented herein. Those reading this alert are encouraged to seek direct counsel on legal questions.  

© 2020 Marathas Barrow Weatherhead Lent LLP.  All Rights Reserved. 

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