Coronavirus Tax Relief for Health Plans and Retirement Plans

Get information on coronavirus (COVID-19) tax relief for health plans and retirement plans.

Mandatory Coverage of COVID-19 Tests

Group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group or individual health insurance coverage, including grandfathered health plans, generally must provide benefits for certain items and services related to testing for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)) or the diagnosis of COVID-19, without imposing any cost-sharing requirements (including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance), prior authorization, or other medical management requirements.  Additional guidance on these requirements can be found at:

Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefit Plans subject to ERISA and the Code, Participants, and Beneficiaries Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak

Based on current COVID-19 trends, the Department of Health and Human Services is planning for the federal PHE for COVID-19 to end on May 11, 2023.  Once the PHE ends, the coverage and payment requirements will change. 
Under the FFCRA and the CARES Act, plans and issuers are not required to provide coverage for items and services related to diagnostic testing for COVID-19 that are furnished after the end of the PHE. If they provide such coverage, they may impose cost-sharing requirements, prior authorization or other medical management requirements for the items and services.

Coronavirus Relief for Retirement Plans and IRAs

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act makes it easier for you to access your savings in Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) and workplace retirement plans if you’re affected by the coronavirus. This relief  provides favorable tax treatment for certain withdrawals from retirement plans and IRAs, including expanded loan options.

High-Deductible Health Plans

High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) can pay for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)-related testing and treatment, without jeopardizing their status.

Read the press release on HDHPs.

Temporary relief for retirement plan participants to sign elections remotely 

Temporary administrative relief is being provided to help certain retirement plan participants or beneficiaries who need to make participant elections by allowing flexibility for remote signatures.

The change relates to signatures of the individual making the election to be witnessed in the physical presence of a plan representative or notary public, including a spousal consent (“the physical presence requirement”).

Read the news release about relief for retirement plan participants.

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