Since the United States’ first case of COVID-19 on January 20, 2020, there has been speculation as to whether testing and the cost of treatment for COVID-19 would be covered by health insurance. Specifically, would High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) cover COVID-19 testing and treatment pre-deductible?
We have gathered the latest updates that may impact Health Savings Account (HSA) account holders here and will continue to keep this post updated with any related IRS or legislative updates (last updated: March 11, 2020).
What is COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “a novel (new) coronavirus was first detected in China and is now detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). As of March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has characterized it as a pandemic. Read the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary.
How Can I Get Tested?
According to the CDC, current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 include mild to severe respiratory illness, accompanied by a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing between two and 14 days after exposure. Learn more about the COVID-19 symptoms from the CDC.
If you think that you have COVID-19 and would like to be tested, first, contact your healthcare provider by phone. They will provide the best next steps, which may include testing for COVID-19. If your healthcare provider thinks you may have COVID-19, they will contact the CDC or the local health department with instructions on testing. This may include visiting a special lab for the test since only select labs are allowed to administer COVID-19 testing.
What is the COVID-19 Test?
Most commonly, the COVID-19 is tested via a swab test of the nose and throat, but there are other methods. Here are the ways that COVID-19 testing is currently being administered:
- Swab sample: from the nose and throat
- Nasal aspirate: A saline solution injected into the nose, then gently suctioned
- Tracheal aspirate: Sample from the lungs via a tube down your mouth
- Sputum test: Cough up sputum into a testing cup or swabbed from the nose
- Blood sample