Two-Year Extension on Telehealth Services Granted
On December 29, 2022, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 (CAA 2023)—which serves to fund the federal government for a full year—was enacted. Included in CAA 2023 is a provision granting a two-year extension allowing high deductible health plans (HDHPs) to waive the deductible for telehealth and other remote care services without causing plan participants to lose the ability to contribute to a health savings account (HSA). The two-year extension is in effect January 1, 2023, through December 31, 2024.
Highlights regarding the extension are as follows:
- Telehealth services do not need to be preventive or related to COVID-19 to qualify for the relief;
- An employer is not required to waive the deductible for telehealth services;
- The relief applies on a monthly basis rather than a plan year basis. As a result, non-calendar year HDHPs that provide first dollar coverage for telehealth services must modify their plan design mid-year effective January 1, 2025;
- Employers who offer a fully-insured HDHP should contact their insurance carrier to confirm the insurer will continue to provide first dollar coverage for telehealth services; and
- Employers who will continue to waive the deductible for telehealth services should communicate this extension to individuals covered under a HDHP.