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2018 HSA Guidelines Released

The 2018 health savings account (HSA) guidelines were recently released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These guidelines outline the inflation-adjusted contribution, deductible, and out-of-pocket spending limits for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) for calendar year 2018.

2018 HSA Overview

Minimum deductible:

Compliant HSA plan examples:

One plan for self-only and family with an embedded deductible, the minimum deductibles are: $2,700 individual and $2,700 family

One plan for self-only and family with a non-embedded deductible, the minimum deductibles are: $1,350 individual and $2,700 family

$1,350 for self-only coverage (versus $1,300 in 2017)

$2,700 for family coverage (versus $2,600 in 2017)

$2,700 for embedded individual deductible (versus $2,600 in 2017)

Out-of-pocket maximum:

$6,650 for self-only coverage (versus $6,550 in 2017)

$13,300 for family coverage (versus $13,100 in 2017)

$6,650 for embedded individual out-of-pocket maximum (versus $6,550 in 2017)

Compliant HSA/ACA plan examples:

One plan for self-only and families with an embedded out-of-pocket maximum, the maximum amounts are: $6,650 individual and $13,300 family

One plan for self-only and family with a non-embedded deductible, the maximum amounts are: $6,650 individual and $7,350 family

Watch for the intersection of the HSA and Affordable Care Act (ACA) rules. The 2018 ACA maximum is $7,350 for individual and $14,700 family (versus $7,150 individual and $14,300 family in 2017).

HSA contribution limits:

$3,450 for self-only coverage (versus $3,400 in 2017)

$6,900 for family coverage (versus $6,750 in 2017)

The annual “catch-up” contribution amount for individuals age 55 or older will remain $1,000

Goodbye "voluntary" benefits.

The class of benefits currently known as “voluntary” are about to get a nomenclature makeover that will have a huge big impact on their acceptance.
At the inaugural ASCEND Agency Growth & Leadership Summit held in Nashville in January, one of the agency leaders in attendance shared a fantastic new name for voluntary benefits that can usher in an era of phenomenal growth for these much-maligned benefits. If you think we’re exaggerating, read on.
What’s in a name?
Labeling these valuable and important benefits as "voluntary" benefits has been a huge mistake.
With benefit plans leaving employees with greater out-of-pocket exposure, referring to these benefits as voluntary fails to convey their substantial value. The term “voluntary” is a holdover from the past, and with more and more employers willing to pay all or part of the premium for these benefits, the label is no longer accurate. Moreover, with benefit advisers increasingly integrating these benefits into the medical plan to reduce the overall benefit spend, calling them voluntary ignores their valuable role in benefit plan design.

Goodbye voluntary benefits. Hello Enhanced Benefits!

Yes, they do supplement the core benefits. But being “supplemental” is not nearly as desirable as being “enhanced.”

Addressing the Myths of Long-Term Care



When it comes to LTC protection, it’s time to know the myths, master the facts, and have the conversation.

Retirement readiness risks come in all shapes and sizes, and few loom larger than the potential cost of long-term care (LTC).


Myth: “My health insurance provides all the protection I need for long-term care.”

Fact: Health insurance and long-term care protection are not interchangeable. Health insurance helps cover the cost of medical care, while LTC benefits help pay for other potentially costly services, including help with eating, bathing and getting dressed – services that are generally progressive, with the level of care growing over time.

Myth: “I can rely on a government program to take care of me.”

Fact: Government programs are limited by financial resources and availability. It can be difficult to qualify for government programs, and each program carries specific rules and requirements for covered services.

Myth: “LTC protection is something only old people need.”

Fact: It’s never too early to protect your future. Applying for LTC protection at a younger age can mean lower premiums, and it can improve an individual’s chances of getting approved for a policy or a contract. Waiting to purchase protection may increase the risk of paying higher age-based premiums or even being declined. And it’s important to remember that roughly 70 percent of Americans ages 65 and older will need some kind of help with the activities of daily living as they age.

Myth: “I can save the money I’ll need for LTC.”

Fact: Paying long term care expenses out-of-pocket can wipe out a lifetime of savings. Today, the average cost for a one-year stay in a private nursing home room is $83,580.1 At that rate, savings of $500,000 would be depleted in just a few years. And one-in-five Americans will require long term care services for five years or more.2

Myth: “LTC protection is too expensive.”

Fact: There are many combinations of LTC features and payment options that may work with a range of financial situations. Traditional LTC policies typically are funded like other insurance policies, with monthly or annual premiums that may be subject to periodic increases. Asset-based protection can provide a healthy mix of funding options – including a single lump-sum premium or options to pay level premiums over a period of 10 to 20 years.



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