2018 HSA Family Contribution Limits (Revised)

The IRS has modified the annual family contribution limits again. In March 2018, the IRS released a notice adjusting the family HSA contribution limit from $6,900 down $50 to $6,850. However, it was brought to the IRS’s attention that this imposed numerous administrative and financial burdens on individuals with family coverage. In response to these concerns, the IRS has determined that it is in the best interest to allow taxpayers to use the original limit of $6,900 as the maximum family HSA contribution limit for the 2018 tax year.

Individuals who may have already contributed the maximum contribution of $6,900 and made the distribution to comply with the March guidance may repay the distribution without any negative ramifications, however, the trustee or custodian of the HSA is not required to allow an individual to repay the distribution, so individuals wishing to do so should check with their HSA custodian.

Employers and employees who have already adjusted their cafeteria plan elections to reflect the previously announced $6,850 annual limit may readjust their election back to $6,900.

2019 Benefit and Payment Parameter Update

CMS has announced the maximum annual limits on cost‐sharing for non‐high‐deductible health plans for 2019. Those limits are $7,900 for self‐only coverage and $15,800 for anything other than self‐only coverage. This is an increase from 2018’s limits of $7,350 and $14,700.

Mental Health Parity Guidance

The DOL, HHS, and IRS have proposed additional FAQs on mental health parity implementation. Two of the proposed FAQs address the application of experimental or investigative treatment exclusions. One such question that highlighted the application of the exclusion, question A‐2, focuses on applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for the treatment of autism spectrum disorder. The question explains that a plan design that limits or excludes benefits based on whether a treatment is experimental or investigative is a nonquantitative treatment limitation. In the example, the plan approves medical/surgical treatments that are supported by one or more professionally recognized treatment guidelines and two or more controlled randomized trials. This is a common standard for medical/surgical procedures. ABA therapy for autism spectrum disorder, considered a mental health condition, meets those same guidelines, but is still denied by the plan. The FAQ indicates that a plan would be in violation of the mental health parity rules if such a limitation is applied more stringently to mental health benefits by excluding all claims for ABA therapy.

The FAQs also address when a plan sets dosage limits for certain prescription medications that are less than what is professionally recognized as a standard, recommended dosage to treat certain mental health disorders. While a plan can set dosage limits, if it recognizes dosage recommendations in professionally‐recognized treatment guidelines to set dosage limits to treat medical/surgical procedures, it must do the same for dosage limits that treat conditions under the mental health parity rules. Conversely, a plan's exclusion of all benefits, including prescription drugs, for a specific condition or disorder is not considered a treatment limitation and is permissible.

The FAQs address the issue of outdated metal health provider directories. Although the DOL regulations require SPDs to provide a general description of the plan’s provider network, a hyperlink or URL for the directory may also be used, so long as the DOL’s electronic distribution safe harbor is met.

The agencies have also released a revised draft model disclosure notice that participants and their authorized representatives may use to request information from their plan about its nonquantitative treatment limitations.

Please contact your Assurance representative with any questions.

Information contained herein is not intended to constitute tax or legal advice and should not be used for purposes of evading or avoiding otherwise applicable regulatory responsibilities as issued by the federal or state government(s) and/or taxes owed under the Internal Revenue Code. You are encouraged to seek advice from your legal or tax advisor based on your circumstances.