IRS Makes Historical Increase to 2024 HSA Contribution Limits

A couple over the age of 55 could contribute over $10,000 in tax-free funds in 2024.

In a period marked by stubborn inflation, consumers finally got good news on Tuesday as the IRS announced historical increases to the contribution limits for health savings accounts in 2024. The tax-free contribution limits for 2024 would increase to $4,150 and $8,300 for individuals and families, respectively, marking the most significant increase ever in the history of the HSA by both amount and percentage. 

The IRS also announced significant increases to deductible minimums and out-of-pocket maximums for HSA-eligible plans in 2024. We'll put these increases into historical context and explain what this means for the HSA industry.

Updates for HSA contribution limits 

A graph showing the 2024 HSA contribution limits, which is $4,150 for individuals and $8,300 for families
2024 HSA contribution limits increased by +7% for both individuals and families. 

Health savings accounts give account holders three main tax advantages: tax-free contributions, tax-free spending on eligible items, tax-free balance growth (i.e., investing). By raising HSA contribution limits, the IRS has enabled account holders to protect more of their income from payroll taxes. 

HSA Contribution Limit Example

The easiest way to demonstrate this impact is with real-life numbers. Let’s consider a couple over the age of 55 with a household income of $100,000. Assuming they have a federal income tax rate of 22% and contribute the maximum amount of $10,300 in 2024, they could see savings of $2,266 in taxes. That’s not a small check.

Updates for HSA-eligible plans

A graph showing the 2024 HSA-Eligible Plan Requirements, which is $1,600 and $3,200 for minimum deductibles for individuals and families, and $8,050 and $16,100 for out-of-pocket maximums for  individuals and families.
The IRS announced increased limits for deductible minimums and out-of-pocket maximums in 2024.

To contribute to an HSA, the IRS requires account holders to:

  • Not be enrolled in Medicare
  • Not be claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return, and
  • Be covered by a federally defined high-deductible health insurance plan (HDHP) on the first day of the month

On Tuesday, the IRS also announced increases to the requirements for federally defined HDHPs. The minimum deductible increased to $1,600 and $3,200 for individuals and families, respectively, and the maximum out-of-pocket increased to $8,050 and $16,100 for individuals and families, respectively.

What does that mean? In 2024, policyholders with HSA-eligible plans will have to contribute more before their insurance coverage kicks in and potentially pay more overall in a given year. Good thing they can contribute more tax-free contributions to their HSA!

HealthCare payment terms review

  • Deductible: The minimum amount a policyholder must pay for healthcare services before their insurance coverage kicks in. Note: HSA-eligible plans include coverage of preventive services, like an annual checkup with your doctor. 
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: The maximum amount a policyholder can pay for healthcare services in a given plan year. Once a policyholder hits this limit, a plan covers 100% of the remaining covered expenses for the rest of the plan year.

The history of HSA adjustments

A graph showing the HSA contribution limit history, with 2024's increases of 7.8% and 7.1% being the highest

The IRS makes adjustments yearly for inflation, so announcing they were increasing limits for the coming year wasn't surprising to anyone. But the size of the adjustments was noteworthy (and historical) as they were the largest in HSA history. The IRS increased the individual and family contribution limit by 7.8% and 7.1%, respectively. The next highest year? Last year. 

How IRS economists calculate inflation

IRS economists calculate inflation based on the chained CPI, an index that captures the current cost of goods in the economy. They apply that percentage to HSA amounts (e.g., contribution limits) and round to the nearest $50. If you want to geek out, the 26 U.S. Code § 223 (G) spells out cost-of-living adjustments. To state the obvious, it makes sense why the 2024 increases are so high. Inflation is at its highest in 40 years; the 2024 adjustments reflect it. 

Note: The IRS uses the non-rounded amount from the previous year to calculate next year's adjustment. For this reason, some years may show no increase.

What industry experts are saying

We reached out to industry experts for their perspectives on the adjustments. William Sweetnam is the Legislative and Technical Director of the Employers Council On Flexible Compensation (ECFC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advocacy, education, advancement, and innovation of tax-advantaged benefit programs (like HSAs). Here’s what William had to say about the adjustments. 

Since the HSA contribution limits are based on inflation, 2024's contribution limit increases were bound to be large.  This gives HSA contributors a greater opportunity to contribute to their HSA to help with the increasing costs of health care.

William Sweetnam
Legislative and Technical Director of ECFC.

Roy Ramthun is the Founder & President of HSA Consulting, and led the U.S. Treasury Department’s implementation of HSAs after they were enacted into law in 2003. Here’s what Roy had to say about the adjustments for 2024:

For the first time, married couples where each spouse is over the age of 55 can contribute more than $10,000 combined. In their last 10 years before they turn 65, these couples could potentially put over $100,000 in their HSAs to help them pay for health care costs in retirement ... I’m hoping this puts HSAs on the radar screens of financial advisors.

Roy Ramthun
Founder & President of HSA Consulting
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Josh Hostetler

Josh leads content for First Dollar, a fintech company that builds infrastructure for health spending benefits. Before First Dollar, Josh led course creation at Aceable, taught First Grade, waited tables at Olive Garden, and wore many other hats. He misses the breadsticks.