The Internal Revenue Service today issued an emergency ruling that could help keep worries about deductibles from getting in the way of Covid-19 pneumonia testing and care for holders of health savings accounts (HSAs).
The IRS says, in IRS Notice 2020-15, that HSA users with high-deductible health plan coverage can use their coverage to pay for testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) — the virus that causes Covid-19 pneumonia — without having to satisfy the normal minimum deductible requirements for HSA-coverage.
HSA holders can also use their HSA-compatible coverage to pay for Covid-19 pneumonia care without meeting the usual minimum deductible requirements, the IRS says.
- A link to a copy of IRS Notice 2020-15 is available here.
- An earlier article about what state insurance regulators and health insurers are saying about SARS-CoV-2 testing and treatment coverage is available here.
The minimum 2020 deductible for a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) that’s compatible with the HSA program is $1,400 for individuals and $2,800 for families.
The ruling applies to the federal income tax rules for HSAs, not to the health coverage issuers.
Most health insurers have been rushing to say that they will waive preauthorization requirements, deductibles, co-payment and coinsurance amounts for enrollees seeking SARS-CoV-2 testing. Many have also said they will waive cost-sharing amounts for enrollees who are getting care for Covid-19 pneumonia.
Regulators in California, Missouri, New York and many other states have been using emergency regulations, bulletins or voluntary agreements to arrange for state-regulated health insurers to waive cost-sharing requirements for SARS-CoV-2 and Covid-19 pneumonia care.