Choice Stories

January 21, 2022

Group Health Insurance Changes for 2022

The new year brings with it changes for Group Health Insurance in 2022. We're highlighting them all in one place, so you're in the know:

FSA Changes

If you are making changes to your company’s Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) rules for 2022, plan changes needed to be communicated on or before December 31, 2021. This is something to keep in mind for future years.

Changes can include one or more of the following:

  • Carry-over amounts: Allowing all or a portion of unused funds from an FSA to be carried over to a new plan year (e.g., rolling over FSA funds from the 2021 plan year to 2022) OR extending a grace period for using leftover FSA funds from 2021 during 2022
  • New elections or revocations: Allowing participants to make new FSA and pre-tax premium elections or revoke an existing election mid-year without a status change event for the plan year ending in 2021
  • Spend-down: Permitting employees who discontinue their participation in a health care FSA to spend down funds in their accounts for expenses incurred after their employment separation through the end of the grace period of the plan year in which the employment separation occurred
  • FSA limits: For 2022, the Flexible Spending Account contribution limits are as follows:

Health Flexible Spending Accounts (Health FSAs)

2022 Maximum Salary Deferral ContributionChange from 2021
$2,850+ $100

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (DC-FSAs)

2022 Maximum Salary Deferral ContributionChange from 2021
$5,000 Family $2,500 Married, Filing SeparatelyIn 2021, as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, Dependent Care FSA contributions were expanded to $10,500 for the 2021 plan year only. The pre-ARP Act limit was $5,000.

“No Surprises Act” 

The new calendar year also ushers in the implementation of the “No Surprises Act,” which was passed by Congress as part of a year-end 2020 omnibus spending bill. Starting in 2022, the law limits surprise medical bills sent to individuals with health insurance for inadvertent out-of-network care in emergency treatment situations or from out-of-network providers providing services at in-network facilities.

One example is if an insured patient receives care for an accident and is unconscious; transport could be to an out-of-network emergency room, which triggers unanticipated charges. Another example is if a patient receives care at in-network provider, but a specialist outside of the patient’s provider network delivers some services (such as those of an anesthesiologist). In both situations, the patients would incur surprise charges though not due to any action taken by them.

The No Surprises Act mandates that health plans offer emergency care without preauthorization, without regard to whether the provider is in-network or out-of-network, with no requirements that would be more restrictive than for in-network services, and with cost-sharing for out-of-network providers no greater than if those providers were in-network.

In addition, non-emergency services cost-sharing for out-of-network services cannot be greater than cost-sharing for in-network services.

According to a November 2021 article published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), under interim rules issued in October, air ambulance services must limit participant cost-sharing for out-of-network services to the same costs as if provided in-network. The interim rules also include an independent dispute resolution.

HDHP and HSA Limit Changes

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has published new High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) maximum out-of-pocket amounts and Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions for 2022. Below is a comparison of 2021 and 2022 amounts.

Contribution and Out-of-Pocket Limits for HSAs and HDHPs20222021Change
HSA contribution limit (employer + employee)Self-only: $3,650 Family: $7,300Self-only: $3,600 Family: $7,200Self-only: +$50
Family: +$100
HDHP maximum out-of-pocket amounts (deductibles, copayments, and other amounts – but not premiums)Self-only: $7,050 Family: $14,100Self-only: $7,000 Family: $14,000Self-only: +$50
Family: +$100
HDHP minimum deductiblesSelf-only: $1,400 Family: $2,800Self-only: $1,400 Family: $2,800No change for either Self-only or Family
Source: IRS, as reported by SHRM

The HSA catch-up contribution for individuals age 55 and older is the same in 2021 and 2022: $1,000.

New Out-of-Pocket Cap

The 2022 health coverage maximum out-of-pocket limit for in-network care for essential health benefits is $8,700 for a single person. For a family, the limit is $17,400. These limits do not apply to “grandmothered” or “grandfathered” plans or fixed indemnity health plans. Although up by $150 from 2021, these amounts are slightly lower than the proposed 2022 limits, because of a change in the calculation methodology.

Talk with a Broker to Learn More

Your health insurance broker can provide more information about what’s changed in 2022, including new health plan options and provider networks in your area. If you do not have a current employee benefits or health insurance broker, you can search for one here.

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