IRS update on novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

The IRS announced (Notice 2020-15*) that for participants in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), all medical care services received and items purchased associated with testing for and treatment of COVID-19 will not impact the status of the plan as an HDHP.

Individuals covered by an HDHP will remain eligible to make tax-advantaged contributions to their health savings account (HSA).

All major health plans have waived member cost sharing, including copays, coinsurance and deductibles for COVID-19 diagnostic testing provided at approved locations in accordance with CDC guidelines for all commercial insured, Medicaid and Medicare members. In addition, many self-insured customers are also choosing to implement similar actions.

This means that HSA funds are not required for COVID-19 diagnostic testing provided at approved locations in accordance with CDC guidelines. In the event that a plan is not waiving these costs, individuals will be able to use HSA funds for those costs without jeopardizing the qualified status of their high-deductible health plan.

Optum Bank is actively engaged in supporting the response to COVID-19, including efforts to safeguard the health and safety of our clients and their employees. We will continue to monitor developments and provide additional guidance as available.

*Irs.gov will open in a new tab/window and is governed under separate privacy and website policies.