Back in June, President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at improving price and quality transparency in health care. The order directed federal agencies to issue guidance in several areas regarding health care costs. The most recent IRS announcement is big news for those with chronic conditions.
On July 17, 2019, the IRS released Notice 2019-45 to add care for a range of chronic conditions to the list of preventive care benefits that can be provided by a high deductible health plan (HDHP) without a deductible.
To qualify as an HDHP, a plan does not typically provide benefits until a minimum deductible is satisfied. However, an HDHP does currently provide benefits for preventive care without imposing a deductible. Up until now, preventive care has been limited to services such as well visits, routine physicals, certain health screenings, and immunizations.
IRS Notice 2019-45 expands the existing list and classifies certain medical care services and items, including prescription drugs, for chronic conditions as preventive care for individuals with those chronic conditions. These chronic conditions include diabetes, asthma, congestive heart failure and depression.
This guidance makes it easier for HDHP participants to receive benefits for medications and other care to treat their chronic conditions. Employers with HDHPs should review their plan documents and consult with their benefits broker to determine how their plans cover preventive care benefits.
Please contact us for assistance. We’d be happy to review your plan(s) with you and your employees.