Employers can offer employee assistance programs and disease-management programs along with health savings account programs.
Shoshanna Tanner, an official at the Internal Revenue Service, comes to that conclusion in a new guidance that answers 88 common questions about the HSA program.
The section of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 that created HSAs requires HSA holders to combine the accounts with high-deductible health insurance coverage. But the requirement for a high deductible applies only to coverage for treatment of a health problem. HSA-compatible health insurance can cover preventive care services such as well-baby visits with a low deductible or no deductible.
Some employers and benefits consultants had wondered about the status of EAPs, wellness programs and disease management programs.
The IRS might find that such a program provides significant medical care benefits, but, in most cases, the programs probably are HSA-compatible, Tanner says in the guidance.