The healthcare market experienced a dramatic shift in 2020, with uncertainty at an all-time high due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this uncertainty, however, and the lingering presence of COVID-19, health insurance in 2021 remains relatively stable.
To help you better understand the changes in health insurance this year, and how it will affect you, we have laid out three key changes for 2021.
Insurance Premiums Continue to Stabilize
Continuing the trend from the last two years, healthcare insurance premiums are remaining relatively stable in 2021. 2019 saw an increase of close to 3%, 2020 decreased slightly, and 2021 is increasing slightly.
Compared to 2017-18, when premium increases fluctuated between 25-30%, the stable changes of the past three years make it much easier for individuals and their families to navigate the health insurance market.
Across all types of health insurance plans, the overall average rate of premiums increased slightly in 2021. However, rate changes can vary considerably depending on where you live and the plan you have.
On the whole, premium rates are increasing slightly this year, but that does not necessarily mean that yours will. The good news is that, across the board, changes in health insurance have remained relatively stable.
Health Savings Account (HSA) Limits Increase
In 2021, the contribution limit for Health Savings Accounts, a tax-advantaged savings account that helps individuals cover out of pocket medical expenses, has increased from the previous year.
Individuals with qualifying high-deductible plans can now contribute up to $3,600 into their HSA (up $50 from last year), with the maximum out-of-pocket capped at $7,000.
Individuals with family coverage can now contribute up to $7,200 (up $100 from last year), with a $14,000 cap.
Those aged 55 years or older can also contribute an additional “catch-up” amount of $1,000 per year.
HSAs are a great option for individuals needing to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses, especially for those planning for retirement, making this year’s increase welcomed news.
Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Limits Stay the Same
Flexible Spending Accounts are an added benefit offered by some employers; they allow employees to set aside money to pay for health and medical expenses, as well as a few other qualified expenses.
Unlike HSAs, Flexible Spending Account limits have stayed the same this year at $2,750; however, individuals with FSAs can look forward to a few other added benefits.
FSA limits remain the same regardless of the amount of dependents you have, but spouses may be able to combine their max contribution limits (for a total of $5,500) if they elect for FSAs through their respective employers.
Rollover limits for FSAs were also increased for the first time to $550 (from $500 previously). Better yet, this rollover does not count against your 2021 contribution limit, so, when carried over, you could have up to $3,300 ($2,750 plus $550) to spend on qualifying medical expenses.
Insurance premium rates differ greatly by plan and location, but as a whole they remained stable for 2021, a welcomed change from past years
Health Savings Account limits increased to $3,600 this year for individuals and $7,200 for individuals with family coverage (a $50 and $100 increase, respectively)
Flexible Spending Account limits stayed the same this year at $2,750, but rollover limits were increased to $550 (up $50 from years past)
Despite the turmoil and uncertainty of 2020, health insurance was able to remain relatively stable for the new year. No matter your plan or coverage, Community Pharmacy can work with you and your provider to get you the care you need.
If you have any questions about how your health insurance affects your ability to purchase medications and other pharmaceutical services, send us an email at [insert email hyperlink] and we will get in touch with you!
Community Pharmacy is a locally and family owned pharmacy that has been serving Texas since 1982. With locations in Denton, Corinth, and Lewisville, we strive to provide an effortless pharmacy experience that patients can look forward to. Our caring and knowledgeable staff is committed to providing the highest quality service with integrity and compassion to meet the needs of those we serve.