Stoel Rives - World of Employment

Washington Health Benefit Exchange Announces Special Enrollment Period

Today, the IRS issued Notice 2020-15 clarifying that high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) may provide benefits associated with testing and treatment of COVID-19 (commonly referred to as coronavirus) without application of a deductible or cost-sharing. Doing so will not impact a plan’s status as a HDHP or a participant’s eligibility to contribute to a health savings account (HSA) under the Internal Revenue Code.

The IRS cited the unprecedented public health emergency posed by COVID-19, and the need to eliminate potential administrative and financial barriers to testing for and treatment of COVID-19, as the reason for the clarification.

In response to the pandemic, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange has announced a special enrollment period allowing qualified uninsured Washington residents to purchase individual health insurance. This enrollment period, which runs through April 9, 2020, may be of interest to employees and their dependents who are not eligible for or enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans, such as part-time employees.

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