IRS 2015 HSA Contribution Limits and Regulations

The IRS has released guidelines for 2015 HSA contribution limit, minimum deductible amounts, and maximum out-of-pocket amounts.  If you have an HSA or are considering opening one in 2015, here’s what you need to know:

  • For a single individual, the 2015 HSA contribution limit will be $3,350 (a $50 increase).
  • For a family, the 2015 HSA contribution limit will be $6,650 (a $100 increase).

2015 HSA Contribution Limits and RegulationsMinimum Deductible

Deductibles on HSA-qualified plans have to be at a level that is considered “high deductible” and the minimum deductibles increase a little bit each year.  Here are the new amounts for 2015:

  • For a single individual, an HSA-qualified plan in 2015 must have a deductible no lower than $1,300 (a $50 increase from this year).
  • For a family, an HSA-qualified plan in 2015 must have a deductible no lower than $2,600 (a $100 increase from this year).

Maximum Out of Pocket Amounts

There is also a cap on out-of-pocket costs that applies specifically to HSA-qualified plans.  In 2014, the cap also happens to line up with the ACA (Obamacare) rules that apply to all plans in the individual market (on or off-exchange).  But in 2015, HSAs will have an out-of-pocket maximum that is a little lower than the amount allowed for other plans under the ACA.

  • For a single individual, the maximum out-of-pocket exposure on an HSA-qualified plan cannot exceed $6,450 in 2015 (a $100 increase from this year)
  • For a family, the maximum out-of-pocket exposure on an HSA-qualified plan cannot exceed $12,700 in 2015 (a $200 increase from this year)
  • Note that both of these amounts are lower than the out-of-pocket limits imposed by the ACA on plans that are not HSA-qualified.  Those plans will have 2015 maximum out-of-pocket limits of $6,600 for an individual and $13,200 for a family (obviously plans may have lower out-of-pocket limits, but cannot exceed those amounts.  HSA-qualified plans must adhere to the HSA regulations).

If you have questions about HSAs, or HSA-qualified high deductible health plans (HDHPs, also sometimes referred to as consumer directed health plans or CDHPs), please let us know.  We can help you find the one that will work best for you, and there’s never a charge for our services.

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 healthinsurance.org, medicareresources.org, Verywell, Spark by ADP, and Boost by ADP, and Gusto. Follow on twitter and facebook.

Comments

  1. I had to change to my group insurance this year which offers a $20 co-pay / $1,000 ded plan. Prior to that I was a dependent on my husband’s $3,000 ded plan with HSA. What happens to the funds already in the HSA – Am I allowed to use them? Are we penalized? Is he still eligible to contribute?

    • Hi Missy,
      You can still use the funds to pay medical expenses (that would be true even if neither of you were covered by an HSA-qualified health plan anymore). But if your husband is the only one covered by the HSA-qualified health insurance plan, he’ll be limited in terms of how much he can put into the HSA by the individual contribution cap ($3,350 in 2015). Penalties apply if you pull money out of the HSA for non-medical purposes, but it doesn’t sound like you’re planning to do that? As always, it’s a good idea to check with a tax professional if you have questions about your HSA.

  2. I have an HDHP health plan through work that covers my wife and I. We are both 58 y.o. We each have individual HSA accounts. The company makes no contributions to our HSAs. Is our contribution limit for 2015 equal to $7650 or $3825 into each HSA account? ($6650 for family plus $1000 catch-up contribution, shared between the 2 of us) Or is it $8700 or $4350 into each HSA account? ($3350 for individual plus $1000 catch-up contribution, for each of us).

    • Hi Jess. I think IRS Publication 969 will be helpful for you: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p969.pdf

      Specifically, there are two points you’ll want to consider (both are on page 6). First: “If either spouse has family HDHP coverage, both spouses are treated as having family HDHP coverage.” for the purpose of determining contribution limits. That means that you’re both constrained by the $6,650 total family contribution limit in 2015 (split between the two of you).

      And then: “If both spouses are 55 or older and not enrolled in Medicare, each spouse’s contribution limit is increased by the
      additional contribution. If both spouses meet the age requirement, the total contributions under family coverage cannot be more than $8,550. Each spouse must make the additional contribution to his or her own HSA.” [NOTE: The $8,550 total they use is based on 2014 contributions, using the $6,550 contribution limit that applied last year.]

      Since you have separate HSAs, you can each contribute $1000 in catch-up contributions, on top of the $6,650 that you’re allowed to contribute in total between the two accounts. So your combined total limit for the year is $8,650. [DISCLAIMER – be sure to consult with the IRS or a tax professional before making any decisions about your contributions, or if you have questions about Publication 969]

  3. Cesar Pereira says:

    Recently lost health insurance from retiring spouse. Almost ready to sign up for an Individual EPO / Silver Health plan but need to understand the pros and cons between one with HSA and one without an HSA account. I see the no deductible part and I understand the income tax advantages. I do not understand the differences between those two plans plans. We have had little medical needs in the past and would prefer a balanced cost savings and high deductible plan for now. Can you help us understand? Thank you.

    • Cesar,
      We’re talking in more detail by email, but there are some good general guidelines. I assume you’re talking about Colorado HealthOP because you mention EPO. Most HSA plans, including Colorado HealthOP, have an “aggregate” deductible and OOP for a family (more than one person). So you need to ignore the “individual” amounts for the deductible and out of pocket maximum. Everybody in the family accumulates toward those family amounts together.
      The non-HSA qualified plans have an “embedded” deductible and out of pocket maximum. So each person won’t pay more than the individual limits listed, and the entire family won’t pay more than the family limits listed. They’re usually double the individual limits.
      Another big variable is that the HSA plans have lower total out of pocket, but they don’t have copays on doctors visits or prescription drugs before the deductible.

  4. If you have an HSA high deductible plan do copays apply to office visits? If not would they apply if you chose not to use the HSA part of the plan?

    • Good question. In general, HSA qualified health insurance plans don’t have co-pays. A few insurance carriers HSA plans require copays after the deductible, which can go toward your out of pocket maximum.

      The health insurance plan works the same whether you have/use a Health Savings Account along with it. So if you want to make sure to have copays on doc visits and/or Rx before the deductible, make sure not to get a plan with HSA in the name.

  5. I currently have employer Health Insurance and Medicaid, state of AZ. I am getting a new job and have the option of an HDHP HSA account, can I still keep the Medicaid insurance and participate in the HSA?

    • Good question, Liz. You could have the HSA qualified health insurance plan through the employer, but you cannot contribute to a Health Savings Account if you have other health coverage (dental, vision, disability plans are acceptable). So you won’t be able to contribute to the HSA if you’re enrolled in Medicaid.

  6. If you had an HSA plan with money in it and now you are on a plan that is an HMO and your spouse is on another HMO plan and your spouse is having a surgery can you use the money in the account to pay for surgery costs? What about tax issues? how is that handled?

    • Eve, you can use the money in the HSA to pay your out-of-pocket costs on your new plan, even if the current plan isn’t HSA-qualified. You can’t contribute to an HSA unless you have an HSA-qualified health plan. But once the money is in there, you can use it at any time to pay for qualified medical expenses, and there won’t be any taxes or penalties assessed. Just keep all your receipts so that if you’re ever audited, you can prove to the IRS that you used the HSA money for medical expenses.

  7. the publication 969 is confusing to me, says minimum 1250 deductible, and maximum out of pocket of 6650
    Does the out or pocket really mean a (minimum) maximum of 6650 ?

    my plan is 1300 deductible and 5000 out of pocket and don’t seem to qualify for individual HSA

    • Cark,

      If your plan is HSA-qualified, it will say so specifically in the plan details. Many high-deductible plans are not HSA-qualified, so be sure to check your plan.

      But what you’re describing is certainly within the limits required for a plan to be HSA-qualified. For 2016, the deductible can’t be any lower than $1,300 (so yours is fine). And the maximum out-of-pocket can’t be any higher than $6,550 (so again, yours is fine, because $5,000 is under the limit; a plan can have a maximum out-of-pocket that’s less than $6,550, but not more).

Speak Your Mind

*