The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, despite its massive size, included very little that has a direct impact on health plans. However, one important feature is the extension of the ability of high deductible health plans to provide first dollar coverage for telehealth services.
Recall that in order to be eligible to make a contribution to an HSA, an employee must be covered under high deductible health plan (HDHP). One of the requirements of an HDHP is that it cannot pay any benefits prior to the deductible having been met, subject to certain exceptions; e.g., preventive care could be covered on a first dollar basis. The CARES Act, passed in response to COVID, expanded those exceptions to include telehealth services. The exception for telehealth services was set to expire on January 1, 2023. The CAA of 2023 has extended that exception to HDHPs with plan years beginning after December 31, 2022, and before January 1, 2025.
The law allows, but does not require, HDHPs to include the telehealth exception. Plan sponsors that wish to incorporate it should check their plan language and amend it if necessary.
The information and content contained in this blog post are for general informational purposes only, and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. As always, for specific questions concerning your health and welfare plan, or for help in operating your plan during the current COVID-19 crisis, please consult your own ERISA attorney or professional advisor.