On March 27, 2020, the U.S. Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide $2.2 trillion in federal funding to address the COVID-19 crisis.
The CARES Act expands Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) coverage and provisions related to telehealth services, guidelines for Medicare coverage, types of COVID-19 testing and more.
The relief package signed into law by President Trump received support from a wide range of organizations, including the American Telemedicine Association, eHealth Initiative and the Center for Connected Health Policy.
“We believe the bill reflects the scale of challenges we face as a country and recognizes that expanding virtual care is necessary to defeat COVID-19.”Ann Mond Johnson, CEO at American Telemedicine Association (ATA)
Here’s how it affects health plan coverage and quality of care:
- Allows federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and rural health clinics (RHCs) to be designated as a distant site for telehealth;
- Allows telehealth and other remote care services to be covered under a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) before the member reaches their deductible;
- Expands the types of coronavirus testing that all comprehensive private health insurance plans must cover without cost-sharing or barriers under the FFCRA;
- Accelerates the process that would make permanent the requirement for health plans to cover preventative services and vaccines related to COVID-19.
- Treats additional over-the-counter medications, along with menstrual care products, as qualified medical expenses that may be paid for using HSAs or other tax-advantage arrangements.
- Allows incentives for states to adopt or immediately implement the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults.
- Increases availability of equipment, including ventilators and masks for faster diagnostics and treatments.
Most provisions are temporary, lasting for the duration of the public health emergency.
As more information becomes available, trust the Creative Benefits Team to keep you updated. If you have any questions, contact us at 866-306-0200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.