More COVID-19 News: A Tax Filing Deadline Extension and HDHP Treatments

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President Trump announced that the April 15 tax filing and tax paying deadline will be extended for “certain” taxpayers due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Trump announced the extension in an address to the nation on March 11.

Earlier that day, Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin said the payment delay would put more than $200 billion into the economy that would have gone into paying taxes in April. Trump and Mnuchin didn’t specify what the new deadline will be, or which taxpayers will get an extension. We’ll keep you updated.

Congress is also working on a package of economic stimulus and other provisions to help individuals and businesses cope with the virus.

High Deductible Health Plans and COVID-19 Costs
The IRS also issued Notice 2020-15 on March 11. The guidance allows high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) to pay for COVID-19-related testing and treatment, without jeopardizing their status. This also means that an individual with an HDHP that covers these costs may continue to contribute to a Health Savings Account.

According to the guidance, an HDHP won’t lose its HDHP status if it pays, without applying the minimum deductible or any cost sharing, for a plan participant’s testing for and treatment of COVID-19. However, the notice doesn’t require HDHPs to provide testing and treatment services without a deductible or cost sharing. It only provides that an HDHP may provide such benefits without losing its HDHP status.

The notice also doesn’t modify previous guidance regarding the requirements to be an HDHP other than with respect to testing for and treatment of COVID-19. As in the past, any vaccination costs continue to count as preventive care and can be paid for by an HDHP.

HDHP plan participants should consult their health plans to determine any health benefits for testing for and treatment of COVID-19 provided by their plans, including the potential application of any deductible or cost-sharing

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