Covid-19 | Member Resources

Regulatory Updates

Read the latest information to see how rule changes could impact your benefits.

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See our response for employers
Latest Update

March 26, 2021

Recently, the IRS announced that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used primarily for the purpose of preventing the spread of Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is now a qualified medical expense eligible for reimbursement under Healthcare Flexible Spending Accounts (HCFSAs) Archer medical savings accounts (Archer MSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). This includes face masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.

December 30, 2020

NEW COVID RELIEF LEGISLATION COULD MEAN CHANGES TO YOUR FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNT

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (commonly called the COVID Relief Bill) allows employers to increase carryover amounts and extend grace periods for dependent care and healthcare flexible spending accounts. In addition, organizations may allow election changes without regard to change in status rules (annual limits still apply).

Note that these changes are at employer discretion and do not apply universally. Wait for guidance from your benefits team to learn what—if any—changes impact you.

These new rules could bring much needed relief to employees who:

  • Didn’t enroll during annual enrollment because of pandemic uncertainty.

  • Haven’t used remaining FSA and DCFSA funds.

  • Risk spending down accounts frivolously to avoid forfeiting funds.

  • Deferred medical, dental or other care, or gone without childcare, during the pandemic.

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FAQ's

There have been a lot of changes during this past year as the nation deals with COVID-19. This list will hopefully help you find the answers you need regarding your health accounts and the recent changes.

Have more questions? Contact us.

  • What does the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 (the "CAA" ) mean for my Health Flexible Spending Account (Health FSA) and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Arrangement (DCFSA)?

    The CAA offers employers several options to provide temporary relief to Health FSA and DCFSA holders. The provisions of the Act include the ability to expand carryover amounts or extend grace period dates for qualifying members, as well as increased flexibility in election changes for both the Health FSA and DCFSA.

    The CAA also allows employers to temporarily increase the age limit for DCFSA eligible dependents from 13 to 14 in some circumstances, and employers may allow spend-down of Health FSA and DCFSA even if you leave your job.

    All provisions of the Act are at your employer’s discretion, so please check your plan details for more information.

  • When will these changes take effect?

    If your employer decides to adopt any or all of the relief provided in the CAA, you should receive detailed information about effective dates and other relevant information to help you take advantage of the relief offered.

  • Do I need to do anything to take advantage of the relief offered by the CAA?

    Your employer may communicate any changes it adopts as a result of the CAA, as well as any action you may need to take to benefit from the relief.

  • Are hand sanitizers, face masks, and sanitizing wipes considered qualified medical expenses?

    Yes! Recently, the IRS announced that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) primarily used to prevent the spread of Novel Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) is now a qualified medical expense for HCFSAs and HSAs. This includes face masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. This change is effective as of January 1, 2020.

  • Can I use a Health Savings Account (HSA) or other health account funds to pay for COVID-19 treatment or testing?

    All major health plans have waived copays, coinsurance and deductibles for approved COVID-19 treatment and testing through May 31, 2020.* This waiver does not affect HSA eligibility. In addition, office visits, lab tests, medications, urgent care visits, emergency room visits, hospitalization or isolation facility charges can be paid directly by insurance below the deductible without fear of HSA consequences, if directly related to COVID-19. Of course, all qualified medical expenses may be paid from your HSA.

  • Do we anticipate disruptions to regular service due to COVID-19? Can I still make claims and access funds?

    We do not anticipate disruptions to services, including our ability to respond to claims and disperse funds. Our member services team is still available 24/7 to serve you.

  • Does the CARES Act allow me to change my Health FSA election?

    IRS Notice 2020-29 provides flexibility for employers to temporarily adopt a more expansive list of allowable election changes. The CAA further extends this flexibility at your employer’s discretion. Please check your plan for more details.

  • Can I change my Health FSA elections if I am furloughed?

    Generally, a furlough or other change in employment status can affect Health FSA eligibility and allow for making changes to Health FSA elections. However, if your plan provides continued eligibility during a furlough or a temporary layoff, there would be no change in status. IRS Notice 2020-29 provides flexibility for employers to temporarily adopt a more expansive list of allowable election changes. Please check your plan for more details.