The CARES act was formed in 2020 and established a temporary safe harbor that permitted HDHPs (High Deductible Health Plans) to cover telehealth and remote care services without jeopardizing Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions. The act was set to expire, resulting in anyone utilizing services like Telehealth, to lose access to this critical service.
On December 2022, the CARES act was approved as the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA). Provisions will continue for providers and, along with the HDHP safe harbor, will enable beneficiaries to access expanded healthcare options through telehealth services. However, as the flexibilities have been extended, this is still only a temporary protection.
Telehealth gained measurable value during the pandemic because it allowed for remote care while lowering the risk of in-person infection between healthcare providers and patients. Fast forward to 2023, millions of Americans are still benefiting from the service. While the CAA is a pivotal moment for the healthcare industry we look forward to a more permanent solution where telehealth can be accessible to all.