Written by: Susan L. Swatski, Esq.
The following is a brief summary of the CARES Act.
- Clarifies that all testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) is to be covered by private insurance plans without cost sharing. The Act covers all services provided during a medical visit, including an in-person or telehealth visit to a doctor’s office or an emergency room, that results in coronavirus screening. This coverage is in effect only while there is a declared public health emergency.
- Changes the use of health savings accounts (HSAs) paired with high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) by allowing a HDHP with a HSA to cover telehealth services prior to a patient reaching the deductible.
- Includes certain over-the-counter medical products, without a prescription, as “qualified expenses” under HSAs, Flexible Spending Accounts, Archer medical savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements. This benefit applies to all amounts paid or expenses incurred after December 31, 2019.
- Allows an employee who was laid off on or after April 1, 2020 to have access to paid family and medical leave in certain instances if they are rehired by the employer.
- Allows employers to receive an advance tax credit from the Department of Treasury instead of having to be reimbursed on the back end. Creates regulatory authority to implement tax credit advancements.
- Amends Section 518 of ERISA to provide the Department of Labor the ability to postpone certain ERISA filing deadlines for a period of up to one year in the case of a public health emergency.