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HHS boosts out-of-pocket health plan limit for 2017

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Employers will be allowed to bump up how much in out-of-pocket health care expenses they can require employees to pick up in 2017 under final regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Under the regulations, released Monday, the maximum out-of-pocket expenses employers can require employees enrolled in group plans to pick up will be $7,150 for single coverage and $14,300 for family coverage, starting in 2017.

That compares with 2016 limits of $6,850 for single coverage and $13,700 for family coverage.

The boost in the out-of-pocket limit, unchanged from rules regulators proposed late last year, is based on a methodology laid down by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and is tied to increases in group health care plan premiums.

“The finalization of the 2017 out-of-pocket limits provides employers with the guidance they need for planning for 2017 offerings,” said Rich Stover, a principal with Xerox HR Services in Secaucus, New Jersey.