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March 12, 2020

COVID-19 Testing & Treatment Covered by HDHPs

Earlier today, the IRS issued Notice 2020-15, which allows high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) to cover the testing and treatment for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pre-deductible. This will allow for any expense that goes towards testing and treatment of COVID-19 to be considered a qualified medical expenses under an HDHP, and affected individuals can use their Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for it.

An excerpt from the Notice is below:

Part of the response to COVID-19 is removing barriers to testing for and treatment of COVID-19. Due to the nature of this public health emergency, and to avoid administrative delays or financial disincentives that might otherwise impede testing for and treatment of COVID-19 for participants in HDHPs, this notice provides that all medical care services received and items purchased associated with testing for and treatment of COVID-19 that are provided by a health plan without a deductible, or with a deductible below the minimum annual deductible otherwise required under  section 223(c)(2)(A) for an HDHP, will be disregarded for purposes of determining the status of the plan as an HDHP.

Additionally, a bill was introduced to the House of Representatives on March 10, 2020 which will require that insurance companies cover the full cost of coronavirus testing for any American who has health insurance through their employer or who purchased a health plan through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange. If passed, these expenses would be added to the ACA preventative care mandate list, which HDHPs and other insurance plans must cover without cost sharing.

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