The IRS recently issued Notice 2020-15 to advise that high deductible health plans (HDHPs) can pay for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing and treatment before plan deductibles have been met, without jeopardizing their status. Individuals with HDHPs that cover these costs may also continue to contribute to their health savings accounts (HSAs).
The IRS also noted that any COVID-19 testing costs count as preventive care and can be paid for by an HDHP without cost sharing. This announcement is in line with states IRS Allows HDHPs to Cover COVID-19 Costs directing or encouraging health insurance issuers to cover this testing without any cost sharing. Some issuers are voluntarily waiving cost sharing for COVID-19 testing, without a state directive. Self-funded plans may also voluntarily waive these costs due to the public health emergency posed by COVID-19.
Employers with HDHPs should consult with their plan’s issuer or benefits administrator regarding their plan’s benefits for COVID-19 testing and treatment, including the potential application of any deductible.