High deductible health plan (“HDHP”) sponsors take note: the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2023 (“CAA23”) temporarily extends the flexibility for HDHPs to provide pre-deductible coverage of telehealth services without affecting the ability to contribute to a HDHP participant’s Health Savings Account (“HSA”).

As we discussed, due to relief first provided in the CARES Act and then extended in Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (“CAA22”), HDHP participants were permitted to receive pre-deductible coverage of telehealth and remote care services during the COVID-19 pandemic without adversely affecting their ability to make or receive contributions to an HSA, except for a few months in the beginning of 2022. This relief was set to expire on December 31, 2022. CAA23 extends this relief through plan years that begin before January 1, 2025.

To continue to offer telehealth services in accordance with the safe harbor or add this benefit, action items for HDHP sponsors include:

  • Adopt plan amendments to document the availability of this benefit.
  • Communicate to participants that this benefit is still available or is newly available. This could require revisions to communications sent prior to CAA23, such as open enrollment materials. Changes to a group health plan’s coverage of telehealth services must be communicated to plan participants in accordance with applicable law.
  • Sponsors of non-calendar year HDHPs should consider how the extension of the safe harbor applies to months of the 2022 plan year that fall in 2023. There appears to be a gap in the relief for these months.

Plan sponsors with questions on the particulars of how this relief applies to them are encouraged to contact a member of the Stoel Rives LLP Employee Benefits practice group.