How a personal status change can affect your HSA contribution

Life happens—you get married, take a new job or have a baby. These and other qualified life events may affect your benefits, so it’s important to know when to take action. If you experience a qualified life event and change your health care coverage during the year, it can impact the amount you can contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA).

Because HSA contribution limits set by the IRS are tracked on the calendar year, you may need to prorate your monthly contribution rate to ensure you are contributing up to the annual limit. Let’s take a look at some different scenarios and how each might impact HSA contributions.

Changes that affect eligibility

Your eligibility to make contributions to an HSA can change during the year because you add or drop an HSA-eligible high-deductible health plan (HDHP). This may happen because you got a new job or decided to switch health plans. Since you would be eligible to contribute to your HSA only part of the year, you will need to prorate your HSA contribution based on the number of months you are eligible.

Example

Jill starts a new job in April and enrolls in an HSA-eligible health plan at her new company. She knows that with individual coverage she can contribute up to $3,650 in 2022. But since she is only eligible to contribute part of the year, she has to prorate her contribution limit to ensure she contributes up to the maximum allowed during the calendar year.

To calculate her prorated contribution:

She starts with the individual contribution limit for 2022

Divides by 12

Multiplies by the number of months she is eligible to contribute

Catch-up contributions

If you are 55 and older and your HSA eligibility changes during the year, you will also need to prorate your catch-up contribution. For example, Anton enrolls in Medicare on June 1 and is no longer eligible to contribute to his HSA.

He starts with the total available catch-up contribution amount ($1,000 for 2022)

Divides by 12

Multiplies by the number of months he is eligible to contribute

For 2022, you can reference this chart to find the prorated contribution that applies to your situation.

Number of months Family Individual
12 months $7,300 $3,650
11 months $6,691 $3,345
12 months $7,300 $3,345
10 months $6,083 $3,041
9 months $5,475 $2,737
8 months $4,866 $2,433
7 months $4,258 $2,129
6 months $3,650 $1,825
5 months $3,041 $1,520
4 months $2,433 $1,216
3 months $1,825 $912
2 months $1,216 $608
1 months $608 $304

The last-month rule offers another option

If you are eligible to contribute to your HSA on the first day of the last month of your tax year (December 1), you are considered eligible for the entire year and can contribute the full amount allowed. However, there is one condition: You need to stay enrolled in an HSA-qualifying HDHP through the end of the following calendar year. If you don’t, you could owe income tax and an additional tax penalty on contributions in excess of the prorated amount.

Changes in coverage

Changes in status, such as marriage or a birth of a child, could change your coverage from individual to family or, in the cases of divorce or death of a spouse, from family to individual. Let’s look at an example to understand how this might affect your contribution limit.

Example

Jack is getting married May 1 and will update his HSA coverage from individual to family. He is eligible to contribute at the individual rate from January through April and at the family level from May through December. Using the table above, he can easily calculate his prorated contribution for the year as follows:

Under the last-month rule, Jack could decide to contribute the family maximum of $7,300 in 2022, as long as he maintains family coverage through December 31, 2023.

Plan ahead

If you anticipate a status change during the coming year, it is important to understand how it can affect your annual HSA contribution limit to ensure you are contributing up to the maximum allowed. Be sure to bookmark this page to reference the proration chart and calculations that can help keep you on track.