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https://www.irs.gov/publications/p969/ar02.html#en_US_2014_publink1000204045

I currently have an individual HDHP. I am trying to understand the implications on my HSA contribution limit for 2016 if I add my wife to my policy.

It looks like the Line 3 Limitation Chart and Worksheet flowchart thing here suggests that you can basically average your yearly contribution amount, based on the number of months you were on each plan:

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The reason it's confusing is that the main 969 publication has a lot of references on your status on Dec 1st of the year, allowing you to potentially contribute the entire amount for the year.. sort of.

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Basically one of the two situations is true for 2016 contribution limits:

  • If we have a family plan on Dec1 2016 and Dec1 2017, we can contribute the family maximum of $6,650 in both 2016 and 2017
  • If we do not have a family plan on Dec1st of this year (or at some point in 2017 do not), our contribution in 2016 and 2017 is, using the status on the 1st of the month:
    • ((months_individual * 3350) + (months_family * 6650)) / 12

So, as an example if my wife joins my insurance today (middle of August 2016) and leaves on November 15, we could contribute in 2016:

  • ((9 * 3350) + (3 * 6650)) / 12 = $4175 this year

However, if my wife is on the insurance all of next year, we could contribute $6650 in both 2016 and 2017, as long as we have a family plan on December 1st of 2016.

  • This is consistent with my reading of this. The wording that I like a bit better is from the umb HSA FAQ: ` If enrolled in a HDHP for a partial year including December 1, accountholders are allowed to contribute the full annual maximum for the year. However, in this case if the accountholder does not remain eligible for 12 months after the end of the calendar year in which they enrolled in a HDHP, the accountholders will be subject to income tax and a 10 percent excise tax on HSA contributions for months not covered by a HDHP. ` (cont) – Joe Aug 11 '16 at 16:22
  • (cont) cite: hsa.umb.com/BrokersAgents/EducationandTools/FAQs/Q035680 – Joe Aug 11 '16 at 16:22

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