IRS 2016 HSA contribution limits and out-of-pocket maximums

Open enrollment is just around the corner, and it’s time to start thinking about the health insurance plan you want in 2016. HSA-qualified high deductible health plans (HDHPs) have remained a popular choice among consumers, with enrollment climbing every year for more than a decade.

And while there used to be concerns that the ACA’s limits on actuarial value would restrict the availability of HSA-qualified plans, that has certainly
not been the case.  In fact, HSA-qualified plans have out-of-pocket limits that are lower than those allowed under the ACA in 2015, and that gap will grow even wider in 2016.

IRS 2016 HSA Contribution limits

IRS 2016 HSA contribution limits for individuals will be $3,350 (unchanged from 2015).  For those with family coverage under an HSA-qualified plan, the maximum contribution is increasing by $100, to $6,750.IRS 2016 HSA contribution limits

Maximum out-of-pocket limits

Under the ACA, the maximum out-of-pocket limit for all plans will be $6,850 for an individual, and $13,700 for a family.

But for HSA-qualified plans, the maximum out-of-pocket will be $6,550 for an individual, and $13,100 for a family in 2016.

Minimum deductibles

HSA-qualified plans are required to have “high” deductibles, and the IRS sets guidelines to define what that means. But minimum deductibles for HSA-qualified plans are unchanged for 2016, at $1,300 for an individual and $2,600 for a family.

Embedded individual out-of-pocket limit

Starting in 2016, all family health insurance plans must include embedded individual out-of-pocket maximums of $6,850 or less. For plans that aren’t HSA-qualified, embedded deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums are already typical.  But many HSA-qualified plans use aggregated family deductibles and out-of-pocket limits, which means that a single family member could be on the hook for the full family out-of-pocket maximum prior to 2016.

Starting in January 2016, that will no longer be the case.  So if you’ve been wary of HSA-qualified plans because of the aggregate family out-of-pocket maximum, now might be the time to reconsider an HSA-qualified option for your family. No single member of the family will incur out-of-pocket charges in excess of $6,850 in 2016, regardless of how high the family out-of-pocket maximum is.

About Louise Norris

Louise Norris has been writing about health insurance and healthcare reform since 2006. In addition to the Colorado Health Insurance Insider, she also writes for,, Verywell, Spark by ADP, and Boost by ADP, and Gusto. Follow on twitter and facebook.


  1. So glad to hear about the aggregate stuff. We got caught in this last year w/o notice from the Co-Op and had to split plans

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