Pension & Benefits News HDHPs can waive cost-sharing for coronavirus testing, IRS says
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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

HDHPs can waive cost-sharing for coronavirus testing, IRS says

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

According to IRS Notice 2020-15, a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) may waive cost-sharing for the testing and treatment of COVID-19 without application of a deductible or cost-sharing. The IRS noted that part of the response to coronavirus is removing barriers to testing for and treatment of COVID-19.

“Due to the unprecedented public health emergency posed by COVID-19, and the need to eliminate potential administrative and financial barriers to testing for and treatment of COVID-19, a health plan that otherwise satisfies the requirements to be an HDHP under Sec. 223(c)(2)(A) will not fail to be an HDHP merely because the health plan provides medical care services and items purchased related to testing for and treatment of COVID-19 prior to the satisfaction of the applicable minimum deductible,” the IRS said. “As a result, the individuals covered by such a plan will not fail to be eligible individuals under Sec. 223(c)(1) merely because of the provision of those health benefits for testing and treatment of COVID-19.”

Therefore, an individual can use an HDHP for testing for and treatment of coronavirus before they meet their deductible without jeopardizing eligibility. The IRS also noted that as in the past, any vaccination costs continue to count as preventive care and can be paid for by an HDHP.

“Individuals participating in HDHPs or any other type of health plan should consult their particular health plan regarding the health benefits for testing and treatment of COVID-19 provided by the plan, including the potential application of any deductible or cost sharing,” the IRS concluded.

SOURCE: Notice 2020-15, I.R.B. 2020-14, March 30, 2020.

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