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New Limits for Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Arrangements in 2013

  • May 2, 2012

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2013 inflation-adjusted deduction limits for Health Savings Accounts (“HSAs”). Internal Revenue Service Revenue Procedure 2012-26. HSAs are consumer-driven pre-tax accounts that can be contributed to by, or on behalf of, individuals who are covered under a high-deductible health plans (“HDHPs”) to pay for certain medical expenses of the employee and dependents, including premiums and deductibles.

For calendar year 2013, an HDHP is defined as a health plan with an annual deductible not less than $1,250 for self-only coverage or $2,500 for family coverage, and where the annual out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, co-payments, and other amounts, excluding premiums) do not exceed $6,250 for self-only coverage or $12,500 for family coverage.

For calendar year 2013, the annual maximum HSA deduction will be $3,250 for an individual with self-only coverage under a HDHP and $6,450 for an individual with family coverage.

Health FSA Limits

As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a $2,500 annual limit was set on salary reduction contributions to a health Flexible Spending Arrangement (“health FSAs”). This limit becomes effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2012, and is indexed for inflation.

The 2013 $2,500 health FSA limit must be provided under a cafeteria plan in order for the health FSA to be a qualified benefit under the cafeteria plan. Therefore, the applicable plan documents and plans that currently permit health FSA salary reduction contributions in excess of $2,500 must be amended before January 1, 2013 (for calendar-year plans). Failure to include the limit in the plan document may cause the health FSA to fail to qualify as a permissible cafeteria plan benefit, resulting in the cafeteria plan's loss of its qualified status and taxation of benefits.

What to Do Next

Employers that sponsor HSAs or health FSAs for their employees should update their plan materials, including the plan document, summary plan description (SPD) and enrollment guide, to comply with the 2013 limits. If you would like assistance updating your health plans or would like to learn more about HSAs, FSAs or other effective health plan options, please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney.

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