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HDHP Telehealth Relief Extended for Remainder of 2022, but Mind the 3-Month Gap in Relief

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On March 15, 2022, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (the “2022 CAA”) was signed into law.  Section 307 of the 2022 CAA extends the relief permitting high deductible health plans (“HDHPs”) to provide telehealth and other remote care services free of charge before a participant meets their required deductible, but there’s a catch.

The CARES Act and IRS Notice 2020-29 first issued the relief for telehealth and other remote care services provided on or after January 1, 2020 for plan years beginning on or before December 31, 2021.  Accordingly, the relief expired on December 31, 2021 for calendar year plans. 

The 2022 CAA extends this relief to months beginning after March 31, 2022 and before January 1, 2023.  Unfortunately, the Act does not extend the relief to January, February, or March 2022, leaving a 3-month gap without relief for calendar year plans.  HDHP sponsors that covered telehealth or other remote care services before the required deductible during the 3-month gap in relief may need to consider correction options to avoid (a) tainting their plan’s status as an HDHP and/or (b) rendering participants ineligible for HSA contributions for a portion of the year.  

For more information about the original relief, see our SW Benefits Updates, The Cares Act – What Are the Health and Welfare Plan Issues to Consider? and COVID-19 and Cafeteria Plans – To Amend or Not to Amend?