The IRS has released the 2019 inflation-adjusted limits for certain welfare benefit plans and the amounts used for discrimination testing.

The salary reduction limitation for health flexible spending account coverage for 2019 is $2,700, an increase of $50 over the amount for 2018.

The 2019 health savings account (“HSA”) limit will increase to $3,500 for a self-only HSA and $7,000 for a family HSA. For 2019, an HSA-qualified high deductible health plan (“HDHP”) must have a minimum deductible of $1,350 for employee-only coverage, and $2,700 for family coverage. The maximum out-of-pocket amount for such plans (including deductibles, co-payments and other amounts, not including premiums) cannot exceed $6,750 for self-only coverage and $13,500 for a family.

No changes were made to the limits for dependent care flexible spending account contributions, and the maximum tax-exempt benefit from a dependent care assistance plan remains at $5,000 ($2,500 if married and filing separately), since it is not indexed to inflation.

The qualified transportation benefit limit for transit passes and for qualified parking will be $265 per month in 2019.

The definition of highly compensated employee (“HCE”) is used in several welfare plan nondiscrimination tests. For the 2019 plan year, an employee who earns more than $120,000 in 2018 is an HCE. For the 2020 plan year, an employee who earns more than $125,000 in 2019 is an HCE.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (“PCORI”) fee will not be assessed for plan years ending after Sept. 30, 2019, which means that for a calendar-year plan, the last year for assessment is the 2018 calendar year.