IRS removes barriers to testing for and treament of COVID-19

The IRS has issued guidance allowing high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) to provide benefits associated with testing for and treatment of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) without a deductible, or with a deductible below the applicable HDHP minimum deductible (self-only or family).


Under this new IRS guidance, a health plan that otherwise meets the HDHP requirements will not fail to qualify as an HDHP merely because it provides medical care services and items related to COVID-19 testing and treatment before the applicable HDHP minimum deductible is satisfied.


With this guidance:

  • Individuals can remain covered under HDHPs that provide such benefits on a no- or low-deductible basis without any adverse effect on HSA eligibility.
  • Previous direction by the IRS regarding the HDHP requirements in any other respects is not modified; vaccinations continue to be considered preventive care for purposes of determining whether a health plan qualifies as an HDHP.
  • The IRS also reminds participants in HDHPs or other health plans to consult their specific plans regarding the benefits provided for COVID-19 testing and treatment, including any deductible or other cost sharing.


Contributing Editors: EBIA Staff.