IRS Modifies Guidance on COVID-19 Expenses for HDHPs, Provides Preventive Care Clarifications

IRS Modifies Guidance on COVID-19 Expenses for HDHPs, Provides Preventive Care Clarifications

In response to the end of the COVID-19 emergency, the IRS has issued a notice modifying its 2020 guidance regarding the COVID-19 testing and treatment benefits that can be provided by a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Under the 2020 guidance, HDHPs can provide those benefits without a deductible or with a deductible below the applicable HDHP minimum deductible (self-only or family), thereby allowing individuals to receive coverage under HDHPs that provide such benefits on a no- or low-deductible basis without any adverse effect on HSA eligibility. Agency FAQs issued earlier this year indicated that the 2020 guidance would apply until further guidance was issued. This latest notice provides that, due to the end of the COVID-19 emergency, the relief described in the 2020 guidance is no longer needed and will apply only for plan years ending on or before December 31, 2024.

The notice also addresses the status of certain items and services as preventive care under the Code’s HSA eligibility rules. According to the notice, the preventive care safe harbor under those rules does not include COVID-19 screening (i.e., testing), effective as of the notice’s publication date. The notice acknowledges that the preventive care safe harbor includes screening services for certain infectious diseases but also observes that screenings for “common and episodic illnesses, such as the flu” are not included and concludes that COVID-19 differs from the types of diseases on the list. The notice further provides that—consistent with recent agency FAQs regarding the impact of the trial court’s decision in the Braidwood case—items and services recommended with an “A” or “B” rating by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on or after March 23, 2010, are treated as preventive care under the HSA eligibility rules, whether or not they must be covered without cost sharing under the preventive services mandate. Thus, if the USPSTF were to recommend COVID-19 testing with an “A” or “B” rating, then that testing would be treated as preventive care under the HSA eligibility rules, regardless of whether coverage without cost-sharing is required under the preventive services mandate.

Source: Thomson Reuters

We’ve been innovative leaders in providing full-service administration of consumer-driven and traditional account-based plans since 1996.

Our solutions and interactive customer support team are all centered around one goal: helping you help your clients.

Our History
Careers
Our Culture and Leadership

Here you will find details for all our solutions as well as FAQs, forms and guides, eligible expenses and videos.

Resources for Participants
Resources for Employers
Resources for Partners

We’re always
here to help.

How Should We Communicate Changes to Our Company's ERISA Group Health Plan?

How Should We Communicate Changes to Our Company’s ERISA Group Health Plan?

QUESTION: At the beginning of the year, we distributed new SPDs to participants in our company’s ERISA-covered group health plan ...
Read More

Follow Us On Social Media