HDHPs Can Pay Benefits for Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Without a Deductible

On March 11, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-15 to advise that high deductible health plans (HDHPs) can pay for COVID-19 testing and treatment before plan deductibles have been met, without jeopardizing their status. According to the IRS, this also means that individuals with HDHPs that cover these costs may continue to contribute to their health savings accounts (HSAs).

The IRS also noted that any COVID-19 vaccination costs count as preventive care and can be paid for by an HDHP without cost sharing.

To qualify as an HDHP, a health plan cannot pay medical expenses (other than preventive care) until the annual minimum deductible has been reached. IRS Notice 2020-15 provides an exception to this general rule to remove financial barriers that might otherwise delay testing for and treatment of COVID-19.

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