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HSA Changes Announced for 2013

By February 28, 2012

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The HSA minimum deductible, a benchmark for comparing HSAs with traditional PPO plans, will rise to $2,500 family and $1,250 individual in 2013, the first increase in the past 3 years, according to former Treasury official Roy Ramthun who makes the annual estimate using near-final government data.

In addition, the announcement included news that the new maximum contribution to HSAs in 2013 will hit a new high (fdetailos below).

A statutory technical freeze on the rise for three years has resulted in the average employee plan deductible without an HSA rising to virtually the same amount as an HSA minimum deductible. This means people who are offered a choice often now see little difference in deductibles if they pick an HSA.

Looking to the future, now HSAs will probably rise at closer to the same rate as regular HD plans. Health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) have no minimums on how much the deductible is or the level of the employer contribution. In real market terms, HRAs typically have lower deductibles and generate less out-of-pocket cost than HSAs. So if anything the faster-rising minimum HSA deductible will make that difference with HRAs even greater from the consumer point-of-view.

Ramthun also announced that the maximum contribution to HSAs in 2013 will hit a new high of $6,450 family and $3,200 individuals (self-only), plus $1,000 for those over 55 who will be allowed a total of $7,450. The 2012 limits are detailed here. Anybody can contribute up to the maximum regardless of their deductible (combined EE and ER), so a rise in the total allowed makes HSAs more attractive as investments.

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