House Passes Spending Bill That Would Include Telehealth Extension
The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a substantial $1.5 Trillion omnibus spending package to fund the government. Included in the bill is a provision that would temporarily allow expenses for telehealth and other remote care services to continue be paid from a health savings account (HSA) without first meeting the deductible under the high deductible health plan (HDHP). The provision would allow the deductible to be disregarded for the period April 1, 2022, through December 31, 2022.
Previously, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act amended the same provision to temporarily cover telehealth and remote care services without meeting the deductible for the period after January 1, 2020, for plan years beginning on or before December 31, 2021.
While the provision, if enacted, would allow additional temporary flexibility for HSA owners to cover telehealth expenses from their accounts before meeting deductibles, it is important to note that due to the timing of the expiration of the CARES relief and the extension proposed in the legislation, telehealth services for the period January 1, 2022, through March 31, 2022, would be subject to the HDHP deductible requirements before they would be considered a qualified medical expense for HSA purposes.
The bill now heads to the Senate, where a vote is expected by a Friday funding deadline. However, House lawmakers also passed a stopgap measure by voice vote that lasts until Tuesday to ensure that the Senate has enough time to clear the omnibus package without risking a government shutdown.