The IRS has provided the inflation-adjusted amounts that will govern health savings accounts (HSAs) for 2012. Amounts are increased for changes in the cost-of-living adjustment. The amounts generally have increased from 2011.

Individuals can maintain a HSA in connection with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). The individual cannot be covered by another plan that is not an HDHP. HDHPs generally have lower premiums, making them attractive, but provide less coverage than non-HDHPs. The idea behind HSAs is to give individuals more control over their health care dollars, which may allow and encourage them to spend less on health care.

2012 limits
Individual contributions to an HSA are deductible. Amounts in the HSA can be used for the account beneficiary, the beneficiary’s spouse, and dependents. For calendar year 2012, the annual contribution limit for an individual with self-only coverage under an HDHP is $3,100, up from $3,050 for calendar-year 2011. The corresponding limit for an individual with family coverage under an HDHP is $6,250, up from $6,150 for calendar-year 2011.

HDHPs
For calendar year 2012, an HDHP is defined as a health plan with an annual deductible that is not less than $1,200 for self-only coverage and $2,400 for family coverage. These amounts are unchanged from calendar year 2011.

The annual limit on out-of-pocket expenses under an HDHP for self-only coverage is $6,050 for 2012, up from $5,950 for 2011. The annual limit on out-of-pocket expenses for family coverage under an HDHP is $12,100 for 2012, up from $11,900.

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