President Trump signed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (the CARES Act) on the afternoon of March 27, 2020, following voice-vote approval earlier in the day by the US House of Representatives and a unanimous 96-0 vote by the US Senate on March 25. The CARES Act’s estimated $2+ trillion price tag includes: extraordinary public health spending to confront the COVID-19 pandemic; immediate cash relief for individual citizens; a broad lending program for small business; and, targeted relief for hard-hit industries.

In addition to other relief measures, the Act allows the following in relation to health savings accounts:

  • The CARES Act clarifies that for plan years beginning on or before December 31, 2021, a plan will not fail to be a high deductible health plan by failing to have a deductible for telehealth and other remote care services.
  • In addition, the CARES Act repeals the rule enacted in the Affordable Care Act that prohibited over-the-counter medicines (i.e., non-prescribed) other than insulin from being “qualified medical expenses.” Thus, users of health savings accounts or flexible spending accounts would be able to use funds in those accounts to cover over-the-counter medical products, including those needed in quarantine and social distancing, without a prescription. The provision also adds menstrual products to the definition of qualified medical expenses.

We have also included a sample Leave Request Form for the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act that may be used by clients.

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