To combat cost increases that are expected to top 7% this year, many employers are looking at consumer directed health plans for savings. More than half of employers surveyed recently by the National Business Group on Health are increasing the percentage of plan costs paid by employees while 4 out of 10 have increased their in-network deductibles. When it comes to large employers, 75% are offering High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) this year, compared to just over 60% in 2011.
What’s New For 2012?
HSA contribution limits and HDHP out-of-pocket maximums have increased slightly for 2012, while the HDHP minimum required deductibles remain unchanged. For members with Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), 2012 is the last year that there are no limits on contributions. Although there is no limit as mandated by law, the plan must prescribe either a maximum dollar amount or maximum percentage of compensation that can be contributed to the FSA. Looking forward, you will want members to know that FSA contributions for 2013 and beyond will be limited to $2,500 each year with annual increases allowed for inflation. This might also be a good time to remind participants with FSAs that their funds cannot be used for over-the-counter medicines unless prescribed by a doctor. Tax advantages and the ability to engage employees in purchasing decisions have made consumer directed health plan designs extremely effective cost-sharing strategies. For more information or help with future planning, contact us at any time.
To view other articles from the SIP Winter Newsletter, please click here.
In cooperation with NAEBA