As we noted in our March 13, 2020 blog post, the Internal Revenue Service advised in IRS Notice 2020-15 that a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) is permitted to pay for COVID-19-related testing and treatment, without jeopardizing its status as an HDHP.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) creates a temporary safe harbor allowing HDHPs to cover telehealth services and other remote care services without cost to participants before participants’ annual deductibles are met.  A health plan that otherwise satisfies the requirements to be an HDHP will not lose its status as an HDHP, and individuals covered by such HDHP will remain eligible to make contributions to an HSA, if the HDHP offers cost-free telehealth services before the deductible is satisfied.

The ability of an HDHP to provide cost-free telehealth services applies only to plan years beginning before January 1, 2022.

Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center often for up-to-date information to help you stay informed of the legal issues related to COVID-19.