2017 Benefits Preview: What to Expect

2017 Benefits Preview

In the wake of the election, there are many uncertainties regarding the future of healthcare. While the outcome remains to be seen, there are several changes we can be certain to encounter in the coming year. Here is a preview of what to expect in 2017.

2017 HSA and FSA contribution limits

Earlier this year, the IRS announced new HSA and FSA contribution limits for 2017. Individuals will be able to contribute a maximum of $3,400 towards an HSA in 2017, just a $50 increase from the 2016 limit of $3,350. The family contribution limit remains the same at $6,750. The FSA contribution limit will also increase by $50 to $2,600 for 2017.

ACA Reporting Deadline Extended

On November 18, the IRS issued Notice 2016-70, which extended the deadline for employers to provide employees with 2016 Form 1095-B and Form 1905-C from January 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017. The deadline to file ACA reporting forms with the IRS remains unchanged; forms are due by February 28, 2017 for paper submissions and March 31, 2017 for electronic submissions.

Changes to retirement benefits

Due to inflation, Social Security recipients will see a 0.3% increase in their income. On average, this change will translate to an additional $5 per month. For those with a Roth IRA, the income limits for single filers went from $117,000-$132,000 to $118,000-$133,000. For married filers, the income limits changed from $184,000-$194,000 to $186,000-$196,000.

DOL Overtime Rule Injunction

The new overtime regulations were scheduled to go into effect on December 1. However, a federal judge in Texas granted a preliminary injunction against the rule. On December 2, the U.S. Department of Labor filed a motion seeking to expedite the appeal of the overtime rule injunction. Additional court hearings will take place in the next 60 days, which will determine how business owners should proceed.

CVS takes a hit

Effective January 1, Blue Cross Blue Shield health plans will no longer cover prescriptions filled at CVS pharmacies. Walgreens pharmacies will be the preferred choice for BCBS going forward. CVS has also been excluded from the Tricare pharmacy network in favor of Walgreens, which went into effect December 1.