2021 benefit limits guide

A by-year summary of federally mandated and adjusted benefit limits (FSA, HSA, HRA) based on group size thresholds. This page is continually updated with the latest information.

Tax-Advantaged Plan Limits and Thresholds

2021

2020

2019

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

Health FSA Maximum Election $2,750 $2,750 $2,700
Dependent Care FSA Maximum Election $5,000 $5,000 $5,000
Transportation Benefits
Parking Account $270/mo. $270/mo. $265/mo.
Transit Account $270/mo. $270/mo. $265/mo.

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Minimum Annual Deductible – Single  $1,400 $1,400 $1,350
Minimum Annual Deductible – Family  $2,800 $2,800 $2,700
Out-of-Pocket Maximum – Single $7,000 $6,900 $6,750
Out-of-Pocket Maximum – Family $14,000 $13,800 $13,500
HSA Maximum Contribution Limit – Single $3,600 $3,550 $3,500
HSA Maximum Contribution Limit – Family $7,200 $7,100 $7,000
HSA Catch-Up Contribution Limit (age 55+) $1,000 $1,000 $1,000
*Reverted back to $6900 04/27/18, per IRS.

Qualified Small Employer HRA (QSEHRA)

Single $5,300
$441.67/mo.
$5,250
$437.50/mo.
$5,150
$429/mo.
Family $10,700
$891.67/mo.
$10,000
$883.33/mo.
$10,450
$870/mo.

ACA Limits, Taxes, Fees, and Penalties

2021

2020

2019

PCORI Fee (fee is per member, not per employee, per year)

TBD $2.54 $2.45

Plan Out-Of-Pocket Maximums

Single $8,550 $8,150 $7,900
Family $17,100 $16,300 $15,800

Cadillac Tax Thresholds (aka, 40% Excise Tax on High Cost Employer-Provided Coverage) — on hold until 2022

Single TBD TBD Amounts over $10,200
Family TBD TBD Amounts over $27,500

Employer Shared Responsibility “Pay or Play” Penalties — only applies to Applicable Large Employers

Penalty is the LESSER OF the two below:
1.) Employer not offering coverage to at least 95% of full-time (FT) employees and their dependents (calculation = # FT employees employed each month (minus up to 30))
TBD $2,750/FT employee/year $2,500/FT employee/year
TBD $214.16/FT employee/mo $208.33/FT employee/mo
OR
2.) Offering coverage that is not “affordable**” or doesn’t provide Minimum Value (calculation = # FT employees who receive a premium tax credit x # of months)
TBD $3,860/FT employee/year $3,750/FT employee/year
TBD $321.66/FT employee/mo $312.50/FT employee/mo
**Affordability thresholds for lowest-cost self-only option TBD 9.78% 9.86%

Employer Size Limits

Employee Headcount

Applicable Guidelines

2-50

Defined as Small Group

51-99

Defined as Large Group

<20

Medicare pays primary to employer plan when applicable

20+

  • Employer plan subject to COBRA
  • Employer plan pays primary to Medicare

50

If 50+ employees reside within a 75-mile radius of the headquarters, the employer is subject to Family Medical Leave (FML) rules.

50 Full-Time Equivalents

If group is an Applicable Large Employer as defined by ACA rules, group is subject to ACA Employer Reporting and coverage rules or penalties.

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