LIVELY'S

Guide to COVID-19 and HSAs

In response to COVID-19, laws and regulations are evolving quickly. Continue to watch this page for accurate and timely IRS or legislative changes related to Health Savings Accounts.

Out-of-pocket healthcare costs are skyrocketing each year, forcing people across America to make difficult decisions about their health and money. This is more true now than ever. In response to Coronavirus, we understand that your healthcare is top of mind. You can rely on Lively for accurate and timely IRS or legislative changes related to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), so you can save on the costs of healthcare today and plan for the costs of tomorrow. We are here to keep you informed. Continue to watch this page for the latest developments.

Last updated: March 29, 2021

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

COVID-19 Testing and Treatment

Federal Tax Deadline Extension

Telehealth & Over-the-Counter Medical Expenses

Coronavirus Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

March 29, 2021

PPE COVID

Personal Protective Equipment is Now HSA-Eligible

On March 26, 2021, the IRS issued Announcement 2021-07. The Announcement makes Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) purchased for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19 a qualified expense under Sec. 213(d). PPE includes face masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes, but could include other things.

This relief is able to be applied retroactively to January 1, 2020, so long as a Plan taking advantage of this relief is amended before December 31, 2022.

This includes both HSA and FSA eligiblity. You can see the full list of eligible items here.

March 27, 2020

CARES Act over-the-counter-medicine

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) has expanded HSA-eligible items to include telemedicine; and over-the-counter medical products, including feminine hygiene products. The Act also expanded the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)’s definition of eligible COVID-19 tests.

Over-the-Counter Medical Products as Qualified Medical Expenses

The CARES Act has expanded HSA-eligible items to include Over-the-Counter (OTC) medical products without a prescription, or letter of medical necessity from a physician. This is effective as of March 27, 2020, and applies to all qualified purchases made after January 1, 2020.

This permanent change enables the purchase of eligible OTC drugs and medicines, with HSA funds, for the account owner, their spouse, or tax dependents. Examples include pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), cough medication and decongestants, allergy medication, and others.

Check the full list of over-the-counter medical products available without a prescription.

Telemedicine or Telehealth Services Temporarily Covered

Effective March 27th, 2020, “telemedicine,” or “telehealth” is temporarily HSA-eligible. This is effective for any appointments or services covered under HSA-eligible health plans that begin between March 27, 2020 and December 31, 2021. During this time, an HSA-qualified plan that covers any portion of telehealth and/or remote care services before the deductible will not lose their HSA eligibility because of the telehealth coverage. Also, to the extent that these telehealth and/or remote care services cost anything, they can be paid for using your HSA dollars approximately the next two years.

Feminine Hygiene Products Are HSA-Eligible

Menstrual care products such as tampons, menstrual cups (“diva cup”), panty liners (pantiliner or panty shield), period panties, sponges, and feminine wipes have been slated as “medical care” by the IRS, making them HSA-eligible. This is effective March 27, 2020 for any feminie hygiene products purchased as of January 1, 2020.

Check which feminine hygiene products qualify as HSA-eligible.

Expanded Definition of Eligible COVID-19 Tests

The CARES Act has expanded the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)’s definition of eligible COVID-19 tests. Now, eligible tests include those approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and authorized for development by a state’s Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary.

March 25, 2020

tax-deadline-extension

The federal income tax filing deadline has been postponed to July 15, 2020. Whether or not this affects you depends on if you’ve maxed out your 2019 Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limit or whether you’ve already filed your federal income tax return.

Federal Tax and HSA Contribution Deadline Extended

In response to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the federal income tax filing deadline is postponed from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. And because you can make an Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution up to the federal tax filing deadline of the next year, 2019 HSA contributions can be made until the extended July 15, 2020 deadline.

There is one caveat. Federal and state tax rules are not the same. So, before you add a new or additional 2019 HSA contribution you’ll need to confirm your state filing deadline to see which comes first. If your state tax filing deadline has not changed from April 15, 2020, this means that April 15th will be the FINAL day that you can contribute to the previous year’s HSA to meet both state and federal deadlines.

The Extension’s Effect on HSA Contribution Limits and Taxes

The federal tax filing extension has no effect on current Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limits. The 2019 HSA contribution limits remain $3,500 for an individual and $7,000 for a family. And if you’re 55 or older, you can make an extra $1,000 annual contribution. The 2020 health savings account contribution limits also remain the same at $3,550 for an individual, $7,100 for a family, and an additional $1,000 annual catch-up contribution if you’re 55 or older.

With the 2019 tax-filing extension, there’s no expected impact on 2020 HSA contributions or the 2021 federal income tax deadline. The extension only applies to 2019 health savings account contributions as they relate to the new federal tax deadline: July 15, 2020. If you haven’t already maxed out your 2019 HSA contribution limit you now have until July 15, 2020, or your state tax filing deadline - whichever comes first - to do so.

March 18, 2020

covid19 swab test

Families First Coronavirus Response Act and COVID-19 Testing

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) responds to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. The act introduced the requirement that employer-sponsored group health plans must provide coverage for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved COVID-19 testing without imposing any cost sharing (including deductibles, copayments and coinsurance).

March 11, 2020

coronavirus-covid19-testing-hdhp

IRS Notice 2020-15 removes barriers for testing and treatment of COVID-19. HDHPs can now cover COVID-19 testing and treatment pre-deductible, and Health Savings Account (HSA) funds can be used for eligible medical expenses.

What is COVID-19 and How Can I Be Tested?

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a mild to severe respiratory illness accompanied by a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing between two and 14 days after exposure. As of March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms and would like to be tested, first, contact your healthcare provider by phone. They are your first point of contact and will determine if, or when, you should receive testing for Coronavirus. Testing for COVID-19 is most commonly conducted via a swab test of the nose and throat, but there are a total of five methods currently being utilized: swab sample, nasal aspirate, tracheal aspirate, sputum test, and blood sample.

Read more about the virus’ history, symptoms, and next steps for being tested for Coronavirus.

How COVID-19 Testing is Covered by HDHPs and HSAs

As of March 11, 2020, High-Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) can cover COVID-19 testing and treatment pre-deductible. And HDHPs that are otherwise qualified as HSA-eligible plans will not lose their status as HSA-eligible by adding coverage of testing and treatment for COVID-19. Finally, the testing and treatment of COVID-19 are considered eligible medical expenses, so Health Savings Account funds can be used to pay for expenses incurred for these purposes. The actual costs of testing and treatment are determined by your health plan, so be sure to consult your health plan carrier for accurate cost information. The costs, if any, may count towards reaching your deductible maximum, or your out-of-pocket maximum, if they have not been reached.

* Learn how the March 18, 2020 FFCRA Act expanded COVID-19 testing.

Read more about what could be covered by your High-Deductible Health Plan, what you can pay for with your Health Savings Account, and who to reach out to if you have additional questions about COVID-19.*

Frequently asked questions
Can I use my HSA for COVID-19 testing and treatment?

With increased COVID-19 testing and confirmed cases growing, Americans with High-Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) are worried they’ll face high out-of-pocket costs from deductibles, copays, or coinsurance as a result of the virus. IRS Notice 2020-15 has clarified this, as it relates to HDHPs. The notice sets out to “(remove) barriers to testing for and treatment of COVID-19” and “(provide) flexibility to HDHPs to provide health benefits for testing and treatment of COVID-19 without application of a deductible or cost-sharing.” Under the revised IRS provision, HDHPs otherwise qualified as HSA-eligible plans will not lose their status as HSA-eligible by adding coverage of testing and treatment of COVID-19. *Read more about how you can use your HSA for COVID-19 testing and treatment. (Effective as of March 11, 2020)

Can I use my HSA for over-the-counter medical products?

In an effort to expand HSA coverage in response to COVID-19, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), has expanded HSA-eligible items to include over-the-counter medical products without a prescription, or letter of medical necessity from a physician. Examples include pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), cough medication and decongestants, allergy medication, and others. Check which over-the-counter products are now HSA-eligible. This is effective as of March 27, 2020 and applies to all qualified purchases made after January 1st, 2020.

Can I use my HSA for telehealth services?

In an effort to expand HSA coverage in response to COVID-19, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), has expanded HSA-eligible items to include “telemedicine” or “telehealth” services. This is effective as of March 27th, 2020 and applies to any appointments or services starting that date for health plans that begin before December 2021.

Can I use my HSA for feminine hygiene products?

In an effort to expand HSA coverage in response to COVID-19, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), has expanded HSA-eligible items to include feminine hygiene products, such as tampons, pads, liners, cups, sponges, or similar products. This is effective March 27th, 2020 and applies to all purchases made after January 1st, 2020.

Is Lively open for business during COVID-19?

Yes. Lively’s platform and phone systems are both cloud-based. We are therefore able to operate “business as normal” despite any extended shelter-in-place regulations. This includes normal business hours, access to our online and mobile apps, and customer support teams. If you have any questions, feel free to call 1-888-576-4837 or chat with our Support team Monday thru Friday between 6am PT and 6pm PT, or email support@livelyme.com anytime.