Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

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IRS Issues Guidance Relating to High Deductible Health Plans and Coronavirus Testing

In response to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS has released guidance in Notice 2020-15 relating to the testing and treatment for individuals covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP).

Under normal circumstances, an HDHP will fail to satisfy the requirements of an HDHP if it provides coverage for testing or treatment before the annual minimum deductible has been met (subject to certain enumerated well-known exceptions for wellness and preventative care). A plan disqualification would prohibit participants in the HDHP from making contributions to their Health Savings Account as HSAs require coverage by an HDHP.

The Notice provides that an HDHP will not fail to qualify as an HDHP “merely because the health plan provides medical care services and items purchased related to testing for and treatment of COVID-19 prior to the satisfaction of the applicable minimum deductible.” As a result, the fact that an individual is covered by an HDHP will not be impacted by free or reduced charges for testing and treatment of Coronavirus/COVID-19, regardless of whether or not they have met the deductible requirements under the HDHP.

While the IRS has chosen to provide this relief for both HDHPs and those individuals who receive their coverage through such a plan, this announcement has no impact on whether or not an insurance carrier will take any action regarding coverage for these items. Please contact your insurance carrier to determine what, if any, accommodation or arrangement they are making in light of the pandemic.

For questions on this topic or any other tax-related questions for your business, please contact Priscilla Grant at (330) 253-5934 or pagrant@bmdllc.com.

Vaccination Considerations for Employers

Today, three Covid-19 vaccines have tested as highly effective (90%+ efficacy) and are advancing in the process for emergency use. This is especially welcome news in Ohio, which has skyrocketing cases and our strategic response has been to turn the entire state into the small town of Bomont with strict curfews and bans on social gatherings.

Did You Receive More than $750,000 in Provider Relief Funds?

The Provider Relief Funds (“PRF”) - authorized under the CARES Act - has been a vital tool for health care providers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. These funds have allowed providers to stay open and continue to offer care during these pressing times. While helpful, these funds do come with several important obligations. First, fund recipients are required to comply with certain record-keeping requirements as well as comply with certain balance billing prohibitions. See our Client Alert. Second, fund recipients are required to report their intent, use of funds, and other data elements, which helps promote transparency to the federal government. Please see our Client Alert on provider relief fund reporting requirements. Third, and perhaps a new concept for many providers, fund recipients of more than $750,000 must undergo a “single audit” to ensure program compliance and appropriate use of funds.

Important Updates Every Provider Should Know: Information Blocking

In December 2016, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act (“Cures Act”) which: (1) authorized funding for the National Institutes of Health to promote medical research and drug development, (2) implemented provisions aimed at addressing the prevention and treatment of mental illness and substance abuse, and (3) reformed certain standards of the Medicare program and federal tax laws to foster healthcare access and quality improvement.

PPP Update: Loan Necessity Questionnaires

On October 26, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) published a notice in the Federal Register which foreshadowed the release of two new forms seeking information from for-profit and nonprofit organizations that received Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans of $2 million or more. If approved, the SBA would use information from these forms to evaluate and determine whether economic uncertainty made a PPP loan request necessary.

Exposure to COVID-19 Flow Chart

Exposure to COVID-19 Flow Chart