The IRS has provided emergency relief for health savings accounts (HSAs) and COVID-19 health plans costs. Under this relief, health plans that otherwise qualify as high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) will not lose that status merely because they cover the cost of testing for or treatment of COVID-19 before plan deductibles have been met. In addition, any vaccination costs will count as preventive care and can be paid for by an HDHP.
HSAs and HDHPs
Eligible individuals can deduct contributions to HSAs. One requirement to qualify as an individual is to be covered under an HDHP and have no disqualifying health coverage. An HDHP is a health plan that satisfies certain requirements, including requirements with respect to minimum deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket expenses.
A health plan that otherwise satisfies the HDHP requirements will not fail to be an HDHP merely because it provides medical care services and items purchased related to testing for and treatment of COVID-19 prior to satisfaction of the applicable minimum deductible. As a result, the individuals covered by such a plan will not fail to be eligible individuals merely because of the provision of health benefits for testing and treatment of COVID-19.
This relief provides flexibility to HDHPs to provide health benefits for COVID-19 testing and treatment without application of a deductible or cost sharing. Individuals participating in HDHPs or any other type of health plan should consult their particular health plan regarding health benefits for COVID-19 testing and treatment provided by the plan, including the potential application of any deductible or cost sharing.
Caution. The IRS states that this relief applies only to HSA-eligible HDHPs. Employees and other taxpayers in any other type of health plan should contact their plan with specific questions about what their plan covers.